Friday, October 14, 2011

Heptacodium miconioides Seven-son-Flower

These are appealing, if rather large, members of the Caprifoliaceae. They're relatively fast growing, becoming large upright vase shaped shrubs over a period of ten years. White flowers in late summer are occasionally sweetly floral scented. Chalky pale canes produce tannish peeling exfoliations of bark, but the real show is provided by the deeply colored bracts. Unfortunately, some years squirrels eat them as fast as they color up.

The big plants in the middle of China Valley were planted when I got there in 1991, I planted the,, also big, plants at the bottom of the valley. The former plants came from seeds collected on the 1980 Sino-American Botanical Expedition by Ted Dudley of the USNA, Stephen Spongberg (Harvard), et alii. This was the initial introduction of this species.

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