Weigela

Weigela is indigenous in temperate regions in eastern Asia and comprises 12 winter-hardy species; the process of selection has resulted in many hybrids. This is a deciduous shrub which flowers profusely. It has whorls of undivided, oblong to oval, pointed, serrated leaves and umbels of tubular, bell-shaped or trumpet-shaped flowers growing in the leaf axilla or terminally on side shoots. W. florida is an upright shrub, 1.8 to 3 m tall, which flowers from May-July. It has arching, yellowish-brown shoots, short-stemmed, oval, pointed leaves, hairy on the underside, and terminal, tubular, pink flowers, white inside, approximately 3 cm long, with five, spreading, round petals. There are many cultivars, including ‘Minuet’, a low-growing shrub with purplish-red flowers, dark pink inside; ‘Nana Variegata’, up to 1.25 m tall, leaves with yellow margins, pale pink flowers; ‘Purpurea’, erect, slow-growing shrub, up to 1.5 m tall, with pale or deep pink flowers. Weigela hybrids are up to approximately 2 m tall and usually flower in May-June, e.g., ‘Bristol Ruby’, a vigorous shrub with blackish-red buds and large, deep red flowers; ‘Candida’ has fresh green leaves and white flowers; ‘Newport Red’, a strong shrub with reddish-purple flowers. W. middendorffiana (syn. Macrodiervilla middendorffiana) is a broad shrub up to 1.5 m tall, which flowers from April-June. It has greyish-brown shoots, oblong-oval, pointed leaves, hairy along the veins, and bell-shaped, sulphur-yellow flowers, spotted with orange inside; flowers can suffer from late night frost. Plant in light shade. This shrub is suitable for edging or in the border, in the sun or semi-shade, in well-drained, nutritious soil which is not too heavy. In spring, prune only old wood and ugly branches. Propagate from summer and winter cuttings.

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