|Syringa vulgaris is a leggy, suckering, deciduous shrub, somewhat irregular in shape. Leaves are medium green, ovate to heart-shaped, up to 5 inches long. Excel is an early bloomer with single, lilac flowers. This species is the common lilac, also referred to as French lilac, that most of us are familiar with; extremely fragrant flowers on 4 to 8 inch dense panicles, appearing in late spring to early summer. Prefers a neutral soil, with peat or leaf mold enrichment. The following years' flower buds are produced by midsummer, so if pruning is necessary, do so before July. Fine for the shrub border. Native to eastern Europe, cultivated since 1563.Over 400 cultivars have been developed.