Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - made in the shade, Neillia

The Phactors' gardens are sun challenged because of all the big trees, so shade gardens it is.  Shade loving ephemerals, don't actually love shade, they deal with it by growing in the brief window of spring sun time before the leafy canopy above closes. Then most of them die down, their season being over.  So then what?  In the search for shade-loving and shade-tolerating shrubs, TPP discovered Neillia sinensis, Chinese neillia, (KNEEL-lee-ah cy-NEN-sis) at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It was growing at the back of a garden and no one could find the label. However, the flowers had a large tubular hypanthium, and with the double saw-toothed leaves, it was clearly a member of the Rose family. Then it was a not too difficult task to figure out what it was.  Ours loves its shady post, although it takes some space; the shrub is just over 6 feet tall with elegantly arching stems, and it does tend to spread so you either give it a lot of space or continue to spade out the new shoots.  However at the beginning of May these lovely drooping racemes of pink flowers appear that really make this shrub worth having.

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