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Stachyurus Stachyurus praecox

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
stak-EE-yoor-us PRAY-koks
Description

Stachyurus praecox, or Stachyurus, is a deciduous, flowering shrub, typically growing to 4 to 6 feet and sometimes reaching 10 feet high. Plants in this genus are sometimes commonly called spiketail, in reference to the flowers. The plant is known for its colorful late winter to early spring flowers that bloom before the foliage emerges. Flower buds form in autumn and overwinter on the plant in pendant, catkin-like racemes that hang from the leaf axils. Flowers bloom in late March through April and make a great cut flower. This shrub has an open, upright, arching-spreading habit. Foliage may turn rosy red and yellow in fall.

Stachyurus grows best in light, humusy, acidic, moist but well-drained soils in full sun to light shade. You cannot depend on the plant to withstand a cold winter, thus you should site it in protected, southern locations sheltered from cold, drying winter winds. Unprotected flower buds can be damaged by frost. Shrubs flower on old wood, so prune in early spring immediately after flowering. Remove flower shoots to the base on mature plants.

Disease, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

No known problems, except that, as described above, the plant is not winter hardy.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. matsuzakii
var. matsuzakii
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#shrub#flowering shrub#ornamental interest
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • var. matsuzakii
var. matsuzakii
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#fall color#shrub#flowering shrub#ornamental interest
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Stachyurus
    Species:
    praecox
    Family:
    Stachyuraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Japan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Broad
    Erect
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    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
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Type:
    Berry
    Fruit Description:
    Small greenish, yellow-red checkered berry-like fruit.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Good Cut
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    3-6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Purple buds, pale yellow flowers on 2 to 4 inch raceme in March and April. Each flowering raceme has 10-20 tiny, bell-shaped, 4-petaled, yellow-green flowers (3/ 8 of an inch across).
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Orange
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Lustrous dark green leaves, 3 to 7 inches long, orange to red fall and winter color. During the growing season, red-brown to chestnut-brown branches support ovate, tapered, serrate, medium green leaves (to 7 inches long).
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Purplish-brown stems.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Walkways
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting