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Heptacodium miconioides

Common Name(s):
Seven-son flower
Category:
Trees
Comment:

Finding a distinctive tree or shrub that brings a stellar display to any fall and winter garden could not be any more rewarding than with the seven-son flower, Heptacodium miconioides. Fragrant flowers, beautiful fruits, and showy bark bring out the best in every garden’s design and are conveniently packaged in this specimen.

 Buds appear in early summer and are almost forgotten until clusters of seven small flowers cover the entire canopy in fragrant, white petals every September. After the veil of white fades, the flower’s sturdier calyx wraps rounded seeds in vivid colors of cherry red to rose purple.

Winter brings the opportune moment to reveal the beautiful exfoliating bark. Stems as small as ½ inch can have their gray-brown bark peel back to show a lighter, inner surface, most evident in the colder months when the plant is without its deciduous canopy.

Heptacodium miconioides can grow 10- to 20-feet tall and half as wide in fountain-like shrub or single-trunk tree forms, depending on the gardener’s choice and pruning. This moderately fast grower thrives in a range of soils from poor to rich, while preferring not to dry out completely. This member of the honeysuckle family is not an aggressive self-propagator. It is easily transplanted from containers.

All of these features combine to make this a versatile specimen or complimentary plant with a relatively small footprint for a focus in a somewhat-shaded urban garden or as a standout in a much larger design.

 

Height:
10-20 ft.
Flower:
Clusters of creamy white flowers in late summer to fall; fragrant; small rounded fruit with a cherry red to rose purple calyx
Zones:
5-8
Habit:
Deciduous
Site:
Sun to partial shade; range of soil types including dry sand and wet heavy clay
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Multistemmed; fountainesque; upright spreading
Width:
8-10 ft.
Growth Rate:
Moderate
Leaf:
3-4 in. opposite, simple leaves; nonshowy fall color; leaves persist into November
Tags:
showy bark, showy flowers, showy fruit, deciduous, specimen, winter interest, urban, fragrant, bark, fragrant flowers

NCCES plant id: 2007

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