Field of Science

Ornamental shrub nomination - Pterostyrax

The Phactor's search for a new ornamental shrub continues. Here's a nomination that came passively from the Niagara Tropicals blog: Pterostyrax, the epaulette tree. This got my heart rate up a bit. Score one because it's spectacular in flower, but like all flowering shrubs and trees, few have a prolonged attractiveness. Score two because it's a bit odd, uncommon. Score three, it's hardy, but our winters and summers can be a bit more severe than in western upstate NY. Worries are that it could get a bit big, but maybe at the Phactor's age it will be someone elses' problem. What think you? Anyone ever tried one of these? Anyone got a line on a really good mail order nursery? Ah, just found one, the Digging Dog nursery. Wonder if it's necessary to consult she who must be obeyed? Nah! Why risk a negative response?


Eric said...

I recall seeing one (Mo. Bot., perhaps?) that looked a little ratty for my tastes. For similar effect and better appearance (at least here), there's Chionanthus, either C. virginicus or C. retusus. I know, more common, but they really do stay more shrub-like, have great deep green glossy foliage that draws attention even when the plant is out of flower and turns brilliant yellow. Tolerates Midwestern climates well, too.

The Phytophactor said...

Eric's suggestion of Chionanthus is a good one, but the Phactor already has both species. Have to think some more before planting a repeat.