There are over 20 species of lilac (Syringa), depending on who is counting, all of them with beautiful scented flowers; two are from Europe, the remainder from Asia, mainly eastern Asia.
Of the eastern Asian species, the flowers of S. wolfii are particularly large and beautiful. The inflorescence is large, broad, erect and multi-stemmed. The individual flower is horn-shaped, with four petals, each one attractively pointed. The scent is strong and pleasant, with the colour varying between individuals and with provenance from white to various shades of violet and purple-red. Bi-coloured shrubs have also been noted.
S. wolfii grows naturally in Manchuria, Korea and the Russian Far East in the rocky mountain shrub layer, in forests and river valleys. It was discovered by V. L. Komarov and brought into production in St. Petersburg in the early 1900s. Despite its beauty, it has remained largely unknown in the West. It blooms about two week after the common lilac (S. vulgaris). It is hardy in places like Archangel and Tomsk, so it should also be suitable as an ornamental in northern Finland.