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Archive for the ‘Family: Olive’ Category

Over the past few weeks, lilacs have bloomed all over Stockholm.  Wafts of their perfume would stop me in my tracks.  People say ‘stop and smell the roses’ but I am much more likely to stop to smell lilacs.

Lilacs (Syrener), Stockholm, Sweden

When I asked a friend what they are called in Swedish, she said ‘syrener’.  I thought that she was calling them ‘sirens’ after the greek mythological creatures who lure sailors with their music to die on the rocky shores of their island.  It turns out that was just my imagination going a little wild with the Swedish language.  The Swedes call lilacs syrener after their genus’ name, Syringa, which comes from the word ‘syrinx’, meaning hollow tube or pipe.  Apparently the shoots of lilacs can be hollowed out to make reed pipes and flutes (I haven’t checked this out yet).

Lilacs (Syrener), Stockholm, Sweden

Native to southeast Europe, lilacs in Sweden are ornamental.  The first ones to bloom were light to dark purple and now I see white ones at their peak.  This deciduous shrub is from the olive family.

Lilacs (Syrener), Stockholm, Sweden

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