Monthly Archives: June 2009

syren, syringa, lilac

I had a great aunt named Selma Serena. I thought Serena was a beautiful name and I thought it meant lilac in the Nordic languages. When visiting Swedes sang a song about lilacs, I thought they were singing about a flower, and a girl, named Serena. It was only very recently I realized that the word for lilac in Norwegian, Swedish, etc. is syren (or syrena) which is close to our syringa, the scientific name for lilac. One learns something new every day.

I love everything about lilacs, the scent, the colors (lavender, white, purple, pink and primrose), and the fact that they are hardy enough to thrive in our northern winters.