One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The common lilac, Syringa vulgaris. Also "blue pipe-tree". Now chiefly historical.
Early 17th century; earliest use found in John Parkinson (1566/7–1650), apothecary and herbalist. From pipe + tree. First used in the 17th cent. to translate post-classical Latin Syringa in its then wide sense.
pipe tree/ˈpʌɪp triː/
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