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Leafing and flowering data for lilacs and honeysuckles 1956-2014


Start Date
End Date


The dataset is comprised of leafing and flowering data collected across the continental United States from 1956 to 2014 for purple common lilac ( Syringa vulgaris), a cloned lilac cultivar (S. x chinensis ‘Red Rothomagensis’) and two cloned honeysuckle cultivars ( Lonicera tartarica ‘Arnold Red’ and L. korolkowii ‘Zabeli’). Applications of this rich legacy dataset range from detecting regional weather patterns to understanding the impacts of global climate change on the onset of spring at the national scale. While minor changes in methods have occurred over time, and some documentation is lacking, the dataset has proven robust in combination with climatic data for detecting spatio-temporal changes in the onset of spring.


Point of Contact :
Ellen G. Denny, Jake F Weltzin
USGS Mission Area :
SDC Data Owner :
National Phenology Network

Attached Files

Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.

Lilac Honeysuckle 1956-2014 leafing and flowering phenology v13.xlsx 14.41 MB
Lilac and Honeysuckle field names v14.xlsx 13.15 KB


This dataset has been used for understanding vegetation feedbacks to climate, testing of a growth efficiency hypothesis and in the development of the Extended Spring Indices. The latter is a bioclimatic model based on these lilac and honeysuckle data which has advanced our understanding of the effects of global climate change on biota, false springs, and served to calibrate remote sensing imagery.


Freely and publicly available.


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ScienceBase WMS



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