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Deutzia scabra

Phonetic Spelling
DOO-zee-uh SKAY-bruh
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

Fuzzy Deutzia is a large deciduous shrub that grows erect with an open crown and arching branches. It grows up to 6 to 10 feet tall and 4 to 8 feet wide. The bark exfoliates on mature shrubs in large sheets, and the stems and leaves have a rough and hairy texture. White star-shaped flowers appear in panicles from late spring to early summer. The shrub is a member of the Hydrangeaceae or hydrangea family.

Fuzzy Deutzia is a native of Japan and has been introduced in parts of the United States. The shrub may be found along roadsides, woodlands, forests, homesteads, or landscaped gardens and parks. This species has been reported as invasive by the National Park Service. It is also listed on the Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council List as an alien invasive species.  Mid-Atlantic Exotic Pest Plant Council Plant List (invasive.org)

The genus name, Deutzia, honors a Dutch amateur botanist from the 1700s, Johan van der Deutz. The species name, scabra, means "rough" which describes the stem and leaf texture. The common name, Fuzzy Deutzia, references the roughness and hairiness of the leaves. 

The shrub is accepting of a wide range of soil types as long as it is medium moist and well-drained. It flowers best in full sun but does tolerate partial shade. Pruning is usually required, and it is best done immediately after its blooming has ended.

The exfoliating bark is in shades of reddish to orangish-brown. The spreading and arching branches form a rounded crown. The simple leaves are light green and up to 4 inches long with hairy and rough surfaces. The flowers are tiny white star-shaped fragrant blooms that appear on 3 to 6-inch panicles. The flowers bloom and cover the shrub for about 2 weeks. Many of the cultivars have pink flowers and some have double white flowers. The flowers are followed by a dry brown seed capsule.

Fuzzy Deutzia may be used for shrub borders, woodlands, large gardens, or parks. The shrub could be considered for a cutting garden since the fragrant flowers make a lovely floral arrangement.

Seasons of Interest:

Bark:  Winter     Bloom:  Late Spring and Early Summer      Foliage: Spring and Summer    Fruit:  Fall and Winter

Quick ID Hints:

  • bark is reddish to orangish-brown and exfoliates in large sheets
  • stems are slender, rough, hairy, reddish-brown to green with a hollow pith
  • scaly and pointed buds
  • leaves are opposite, simple, deciduous, light green, rough, slightly hairy with serrate margins
  • flowers are about 1/2-inch in diameter, fragrant, white star-shaped, and arranged on 3-to-6-inch panicles
  • fruit is a dry brown seed capsule

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: The Fuzzy Deutzia has no serious insect or disease issue, but aphids and leaf spots may be seen.  The shrub is potentially invasive due to its self-seeding. It may spread and crowd out our native species.  

There are more than 60 species of Deutzia. Some species and cultivars may have been sold or traded under incorrect names. A study was completed by William G. Hembree, Thomas Ranney, Nathan P. Lynch, and Brian E. Jackson at North Carolina State University to correct and update the species names for the cultivars studied. The study was published in the Journal of American Society for Horticultural Science and is entitled, "Identification, Genome Sizes and Ploidy of Deutzia."

The cultivars "Candidissima' 'and Codsall Pink or 'Godsall Pink were rekeyed from Deutzia scabra to Deutzia crenata 'Pink Minor' was rekeyed from Deutzia scabra to Deutzia gracilis.

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/338665982_Identification_Genome_Sizes_and_Ploidy_of_Deutzia

Learn more about Deutzia.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Flore pleno'
    Double white flowers tinged with rosy purple
  • 'Pride of Rochester'
    White tinged flowers with rosy, purple outside corolla
'Flore pleno', 'Pride of Rochester'
Tags:
#cultivars#arching#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#interesting bark#white flowers#shrub#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#spring flowers#cottage garden#hedges#summer flowers#deer resistant#border planting#cutting garden#screening#pollinator plant#exfoliating bark#butterfly friendly#shrub borders#dense growth#erect#bark
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Flore pleno'
    Double white flowers tinged with rosy purple
  • 'Pride of Rochester'
    White tinged flowers with rosy, purple outside corolla
'Flore pleno', 'Pride of Rochester'
Tags:
#cultivars#arching#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#interesting bark#white flowers#shrub#deciduous shrub#low maintenance#spring flowers#cottage garden#hedges#summer flowers#deer resistant#border planting#cutting garden#screening#pollinator plant#exfoliating bark#butterfly friendly#shrub borders#dense growth#erect#bark
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Deutzia
    Species:
    scabra
    Family:
    Hydrangeaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Central and Southern Japan
    Distribution:
    Native: Japan; Introduced: United States--AR, CT, DC, FL, GA, IL, KY, MD, MA, MI, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, UT, VT, VA, and WV.
    Wildlife Value:
    The flowers attract butterflies.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Fragrance
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    This plant is seldom damaged by deer.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Broad
    Erect
    Oval
    Rounded
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fruit is a dry brown seed capsule and measures 0.25-inches in diameter. They mature in the fall and may be present throughout the winter months.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The flowers are showy, slightly fragrant, and snow-white. Each flower is star-shaped and measures 0.5-inch to 0.75-inch in diameter. They appear in loose clusters or panicles that measure 3 to 6 inches long. Each panicle has 5 to 50 flowers The flowers bloom in late spring to early summer and last about 2 weeks. The flower color depends on the cultivar. and some are found in shades of pink.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The light green leaves are opposite, ovate to oblanceolate, and simple with serrate margins. The base of the leaf is rounded, and the tips are pointed. They measure up to 4 inches long and 2 inches wide. The upper and lower surfaces are slightly hairy and have a rough texture.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Bark Description:
    The bark is reddish-brown to orangish-brown and exfoliates in large sheets.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Red/Burgundy
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Buds:
    Scaly
    Stem Description:
    The stems are slender, erect to ascending, and rough. Young stems are reddish-brown to green. They have a hollow pith. The buds are scaly and pointed.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Cutting Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Problems:
    Invasive Species