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'Charlie Edwards' Villosa Lilac Seed


Latin Name: Syringa villosa


Family: Oleaceae

Native Range: Northeastern China

Seed Source: Improved seed strain, shelterbelt near Indian Head Saskatchewan.

Height and Spread: 4m x 3m 

Overview: The seed strain was developed for tree planting in the Canadian prairies. It is a composite of parent trees from selected lilac shelterbelts. It is a medium-large, hardy shrub with an oval-shaped crown. It has basal sprouts but does not spread by suckers. It was named in honour of Charlie Edwards assistant superintendent of the Indian Head Forest Nursery Station from 1909 to 1950.

Fruit: Seed ripens in a capsule in late summer.

Average number of seeds/packet: 450


Stratification: Pre-soak seed for 24 hours then stratify in moist sand (10 percent moisture) for 60 days at 5°C.

Ideal sowing time: Non-pretreated seed outdoors in September (will germinate the following spring) or stratified seed in spring.

Sowing instructions: Sow 1.5 cm deep, 50 seeds/meter; Greenhouse - sow 3 seeds per cell.

Growing conditions: The 'Charlie Edwards' seed strain is adapted to most soils and is hardy to zone 2.


'Charlie Edwards' villosa lilac is used for shelterbelt and hedge planting in field and farmyard shelterbelts. The dense growth habit is well suited for providing wind and snow protection. It provides excellent cover and habitat for songbirds and small mammals. Lilac species are rated excellent for pollen availability. The attractive white/lavender blooms add fragrance and beauty to plantings.