Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Spirea thunbergi 'Ogon' ('Mellow Yellow')....still colorful, and it's almost Christmas

Spireas aren't my favorite plants; they're....they're...utilitarian. No, that's not fair. They're dependable, many of them have interestingly colored foliage, the flowers are pleasant enough. Many of the various cultivars reflower if sheared after their first flowering. Some of the x bumalda types have red, yellow, orange foliage though it normally viridesces to some degree. I guess it's chemistry. They just don't do it for me.

I love this one though, and not just because it's flashy. The wispy foliage gives the plant a "light" feeliing unlike it's stockier cousins. The white flowers on naked branches appearing just as winter turns to spring are so small they'd be overlooked any later in the season. But they're a pleasant harbinger of spring. The foliage emerges yellow and stays that color through the season, only reverting to green in quite shady locations. The fall color isn't always this bright; often there isn't so much red in the mix but it's dependably a rich yellow and when it gets this amazing color and holds it to January, well, that's a bonus.

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