Copper Curls® Pekin Lilac - Syringa reticulata ssp. pekinensis ‘SunDak’ (RFM-28)



flowersleavesA small tree with showy creamy white blossoms and very showy coppery-orange exfoliating bark. Grown either as a single or multi-trunked tree. Cold-tolerant and able to withstand urban environments (soils and pollution) make this an excellent tree for a variety of landscape uses.


USDA hardiness zone 3-7

Mature Size:

Height: 25'

Form (Shape):

Rounded to upright spreading habit.

Growth Rate:



Summer: Shiny medium to dark green.
Autumn: Not showy.


Medium, finer texture and more open than Japanese Tree Lilac (Syringa reticulata) because of smaller stems and leaves.


Creamy-white flower panicles in late spring/early summer, 12-14 days after Common Lilac (Syringa vulgaris).


Large tannish clusters of capsules remain on the tree, which add interest to the winter landscape.

Special Features:

Extremely showy coppery-orange exfoliating (peeling, curling and flaking) bark.

Light Preferences:

Full sun to part shade.

Soil Preferences:

Moist well-drained soils, soil pH adaptable.


Grafting (Piece root grafting, bark grafting), tissue culture or softwood cuttings.

Ornamental Attributes:

Copper Curls® Pekin Lilac is a late blooming small tree featuring showy plumes of fragrant creamy-white flowers. It has extremely showy exfoliating coppery-orange bark, which adds significant winter interest.

Landscape Attributes:

One of the most trouble-free lilacs. Good choice for attracting butterflies and possibly deer resistant. This specimen is tolerant of urban conditions. It is recommended as a boulevard, small shade or landscape specimen tree.


Copper Curls® is introduced in collaboration with Dr. Scott Redlin, Raleigh, NC. Any pruning should be done after flowering.

Patent Status:

U.S. Trademark registered – Copper Curls®.

U.S. Plant Patent 16,570

Licensing Status:

This cultivar is available for non-exclusive licensing.


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