Neillia

Neillia is mainly indigenous in China, and comprises 13 species.

This is a deciduous, woody-stemmed shrub with thin, squarish shoots, spreading, short-stemmed, bristly-toothed leaves, long clusters or racemes of white or pink flowers, and leathery fruits which burst open when they are ripe, with large numbers of shiny seeds.

N. affinis has oval, lobed, sharply-toothed, pointed leaves, 4-10 cm long, smaller on flowering shoots, and terminal clusters, 6 cm long, of pale pink flowers. N. thibetica has long, arching shoots, bright green, lobed, serrated leaves, 5-8 cm long, which are hairy on the underside, and 4-8 cm long spikes of compact, pink flowers. Grow in small groups in a sunny, slightly sheltered spot in any nutritious soil that is not too moist. Prune in spring for bushy growth and to rejuvenate the plant. Propagate from seed, cuttings (June, under glass) and rooted suckers.

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