Common lilac is a popular landscape plant with nearly 2000 cultivars. In the present study, nine novel polymorphic microsatellite markers were developed for common lilac using genome screening with inter-simple sequence repeat primers. Each of the nine markers revealed two to five alleles. The markers were used for genotyping of 75 common lilac shrubs, including 17 accessions that represented named cultivars. A dendrogram, based on the allele profiles of the shrubs, was generally in agreement with the grouping made on the basis of morphological traits, as well as with the pedigree information available. The novel markers appear valuable for differentiation between common lilac cultivars.