Abelia

Abelia is indigenous in eastern Asia and Mexico, and comprises 30 more or less winter-hardy species.

This is a deciduous or evergreen shrub with slightly arching branches, oval or lanceolate, pointed leaves, and tubular, often fragrant, white, lilac or pink flowers, usually in terminal clusters or panicles, sometimes growing in the leaf axilla. A. chinensis is deciduous and not winter-hardy. It is up to 1.5 m tall, and flowers in July-August.

It has soft, hairy stems and fragrant, pale pink flowers. Abelia “Edward Goucher” is winter-hardy and flowers profusely from July-September. A. floribunda is a semi-evergreen, not winter-hardy shrub, 1.8 (-6) m tall, with oval, shiny green leaves, 2-4 cm long, and purplish-red clusters of flowers, 3-5 cm long, on one-year-old shoots. A. x grandiflora, a cross of A. chinensis and A. uniflora, is a semi-evergreen shrub which is fully hardy in a sheltered spot, and grows 90-180 cm tall. It flowers from the end of July-October, has downy, hairy, reddish stems, short-stemmed, oval, pointed leaves, 2.5-5 cm long, and white to pale pink, slightly fragrant clusters of flowers; “Francis Mason” has pale green and yellow leaves, blotched with green.

Glossy Abelia 'Edward Goucher' (Abelia x grand...

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A. schumannii is a deciduous shrub up to 1.5 m tall, which is not winter-hardy. It flowers from July-October, and has hairy, purple young stems and dark pink flowers. A. triflora is a deciduous shrub up to 4 m tall, which is moderately winter-hardy and flowers from May-June. It has bristly, hair)’ stems, oval, pointed leaves, and beautifully fragrant white flowers. This shrub requires a sheltered, warm, sunny or slightly shady spot and nutritious soil which is regularly fed with organic manure (compost and leaf-mould). If necessary, cover in winter. Do not prune for the first few years, but prune back frozen branches, and remove dead wood (in spring). Propagate from seed (spring), summer cuttings and mature shoots in autumn.

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