Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - Chinese Neillia

Our constant search for shade-loving plants has produced a number of survivors, a few not bads, a very few nices, and one clear winnerNeillia sinensis.  This shrub grows really well and does not appear to be soil fussy. It grows with a nice loose rounded form of arching branches (if not pruned poorly) rather like a Spirea to which it is related.  The bush is about 6' by 6'. And it has a great flowering display of pink flowers (that's quite a hypanthium), not as gaudy as an azalea, but nice enough for heavy shade.  It does tend to spread a little, but not in a frightening way. Unfortunately the bun-buns like it, so it requires winter caging in our gardens. TPP saw this growing at the Missouri Botanical Garden in heavy shade.  The plant is not common in commercial nurseries as yet.  Also found a smaller, sprawling shrub called Stephanandra incisa; it also grows well in shade, but the flowering display is rather quiet (small flowers), and the bun-buns really love it (one got eaten to the ground), so in general more of a "not bad". 

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