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Heptacodium miconioides

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
hep-tuh-KOH-dee-um mik-on-ee-OY-deez
Description

Seven-son flower is a small tree or large shrub in the Caprifoliaceae family.  It is known for bringing its stellar display of late-season, fragrant, nectar-rich flowers that attract beeds, monarch butterflies and other pollinators.  The beautiful fruits and showy bark bring fall and winter interest to the landscape.  

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 reveals 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.

This tree can grow 10- to 20-feet tall and half as wide in a 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.

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#fall flowers#interesting bark#specimen#winter interest#flowering tree#showy fruits#multistemmed#spreading#naturalizes#poor soils tolerant#urban conditions tolerant#partial shade tolerant#woodland garden
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#fragrant#showy flowers#full sun tolerant#fragrant flowers#fall flowers#interesting bark#specimen#winter interest#flowering tree#showy fruits#multistemmed#spreading#naturalizes#poor soils tolerant#urban conditions tolerant#partial shade tolerant#woodland garden
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Heptacodium
    Species:
    miconioides
    Family:
    Caprifoliaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Extracts from the plant possess antibacterial activity.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China
    Wildlife Value:
    Nectar from the flowers is attractive to bees and monarch butterflies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    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
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Small rounded fruit with a cherry red to rose-purple calyx
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    White with pink calyx
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    nonshowy fall color; leaves persist into November
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
    Bark Description:
    Gray-brown bark exfoliates to show a lighter, inner surface, most evident in the colder months.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Naturalized Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Poor Soil