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Heirloom Lilacs from the Collection

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Lilacs cultivated before the pioneering hybridization work of French nurseryman and famed lilac breeder, Victor Lemoine, are sometimes referred to as Heirloom lilacs. Prior to Lemoine’s work in the 1870’s, lilac hybridization was little understood, rare, and involved a great deal of chance. One of the varieties highlighted on this NYBG lilac tour, ‘Azurea Plena’, played a critical role in the development of the beloved fragrant, large flowered lilacs frequently referred to today as French hybrid lilacs.


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