500. Lilac Tour

The renowned lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum holds nearly 400 lilac plants representing 179 different kinds. Many of these are cultivars or varieties, selected for horticultural merits such as flower size, fragrance, color, and overall growth habit. Others are the parents of many of today’s hybrids. Lilacs are in the olive family; other relatives growing on Bussey Hill include ash trees and forsythia.


Although not a native plant, lilacs have been grown in North America since colonial times. Today, they enrich our landscape with color and fragrance for up to five weeks each spring. Every May, the Arboretum hosts Lilac Sunday to celebrate its magnificent display of these much beloved flowers.


View the stops in the Lilac Tour by clicking the Map icon at the bottom of your screen. Each plant featured in the Tour is marked with a purple flag, and has a stop number that begins with 5. If you need help navigating the app, tap the Home button at the bottom left corner of the screen, and select the How to Use This App button.


Look for signs with the Expeditions logo throughout the Arboretum, and go on an expedition of your own!