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Pieris Pieris japonica

Phonetic Spelling
pee-AIR-iss jah-PON-ih-kah
This plant has high severity poison characteristics.
See below
Description

Japanese Pieris is a slow-growing evergreen shrub to small tree that grows 9-13 feet tall in the heath family, Ericaceae. It is native to eastern China, Taiwan, and Japan where it grows in mountain thickets.  It is an upright to spreading ornamental shrub, noted for its emerging bronzed foliage, showy floral buds that mature in late summer and are attractive in fall and winter, and showy white (or pink) inflorescences that bloom in late winter to early spring and blooms are effective for 2-3 weeks. Dried inflorescence persists into winter unless removed. Sympodial growth with crowded, rosette-like leaves on greenish-yellow twigs. New growth is bronze-red or purplish. It is used as a specimen, massing, foundations, and borders. Some shade is required in southern gardens. 

This plant prefers full sun to partial shade. Prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil enriched with organic matter. It is is intolerant of wet soils and need protection from winter winds.  

Problems:  Leaf spot, dieback, nematodes, and lace bug are major problems.

Quick ID Hints:

  • Reproductive structures are visible year-round
  • White/pink urceolate flowers in pendulous chains
  • New growth is bronze-purplish, stems are yellow-green
  • Evergreen shrub with sympodial growth, rosette-like leaves
See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cavatine'
  • 'Dorothy Wyckoff'
  • 'Flaming Silver'
  • 'Katsura'
  • 'Mountain Fire'
  • 'Mountain Snow'
  • 'Prelude'
  • 'Temple Bells'
  • 'Valley Rose'
'Cavatine', 'Dorothy Wyckoff', 'Flaming Silver', 'Katsura', 'Mountain Fire', 'Mountain Snow', 'Prelude', 'Temple Bells', 'Valley Rose'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#showy leaves#year-round interest#cpp#foundation planting#fantz#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#shrub borders
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Cavatine'
  • 'Dorothy Wyckoff'
  • 'Flaming Silver'
  • 'Katsura'
  • 'Mountain Fire'
  • 'Mountain Snow'
  • 'Prelude'
  • 'Temple Bells'
  • 'Valley Rose'
'Cavatine', 'Dorothy Wyckoff', 'Flaming Silver', 'Katsura', 'Mountain Fire', 'Mountain Snow', 'Prelude', 'Temple Bells', 'Valley Rose'
Tags:
#fragrant#evergreen#showy flowers#poisonous#fragrant flowers#showy leaves#year-round interest#cpp#foundation planting#fantz#problem for cats#problem for dogs#problem for horses#shrub borders
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Pieris
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Ericaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    East Asia
    Wildlife Value:
    Deer resistant
    Dimensions:
    Height: 9 ft. 0 in. - 13 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Poisonous
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Erect
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • 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:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fruits are a dehiscent, 5-valved capsule that persist into winter.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Panicle
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Urn
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The showy floral buds mature in late summer and are attractive in fall and winter. They give way to showy white (or pink) inverted urn-shaped flowers in 3-6 inch long terminal, drooping clusters that bloom in late winter to early spring. Individual flowers are 1/4 inch long. There are 5 calyx lobes that are valvate. There are 5 corolla lobes that are waxy and urceolate. There are 10 stamens.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblanceolate
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Crenate
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    < 1 inch
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are alternate, leathery, simple, crowded rosette-like at branch tips. Shape is obovate-oblong to oblanceolate with acute to obtuse tips, cuneate bases, and crenate-serrate margins. They are dark green above and lighter green beneath, glabrous, and 1-4" in size. New growth is bronze-green to reddish or pinkish.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Bark Description:
    Bark is grey to brown and vertically fissured when mature
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
    Stem Description:
    Twigs are hairless. Stems are green to yellow-green, glabrous when young, and have sympodial growth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Asian Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Mass Planting
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Problems:
    Frequent Disease Problems
    Frequent Insect Problems
    Poisonous to Humans
    Problem for Cats
    Problem for Dogs
    Problem for Horses
  • Poisonous to Humans:
    Poison Severity:
    High
    Poison Symptoms:
    Tingling sensation, salivation, nose running, eyes watering, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, sweating, abdominal pain, headache, cardiac failure, weakness, and convulsions; may be fatal.
    Poison Toxic Principle:
    Andromedotoxin, Grayanotoxins
    Causes Contact Dermatitis:
    No
    Poison Part:
    Flowers
    Leaves