Field of Science

New fall flowering shrub - "dwarf lilac"

Here's a new shrub that TPP is trying out, a so-called "dwarf lilac" (Leptodermis oblonga), but hate the common name, probably a "what shall we call this?" type of name because it isn't a lilac and it isn't even in the olive family.  So far this is a hardy, zone 5, at least with regards to cold, mounding shrub of a small size, under 2 feet.  It's October, and it's in flower when little else flowers, not awesomely showy, but pleasant enough with the 1 cm wide flowers clustered at the ends of stems.  Other than color there isn't anything very lilacy about the flowers; it's in the rue family.   Given it's size it will be in the front of beds anyways otherwise it just won't be seen at all.  It grows well enough in part shade, but TPP would recommend morning sun and afternoon shade because it wilts easily, more so than the azaleas in the same bed, so it's summer heat tolerance is a bit in question.  As it turns out this species is native to northern China so this is no surprise really, and maybe even a low alpine plant.  Alpines are quite cold hardy, but they don't do well in the summer heat of the Midwest.  So we shall see how this develops.

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