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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Enkianthus - Who knew?

Enkianthus campanulatus is a shrub that I rarely see mentioned anywhere. Four years ago I saw one for sale, my interest was piqued and I brought it home with me to give it a try.

While neither of my photos do this lovely shrub justice, I still had to share with all of you the beauty and ease I've had growing this specimen.

Google brought me to hort. dept. of UConn where I found out more information on this shrub.

Here in my garden on Long Island, New York, I have never done anything special for this shrub. It blooms heavily in mid May as you can see in these photos.

What I found interesting when researching it is that supposedly it seeds easily. I will have to check the ground for little seedlings now. It also states that soft wood cuttings are highly successful so I will be giving those a try too.

A nice addition is that it has wonderful foliage color in the autumn. This year I see that my local nursery will be carrying a new variety, 'Summer Hill' which grows 15 to 20 feet tall! That would work nice in some of my wooded areas so guess what will probably be coming home with me next month.


Cinj said...

Very nice. I've never seen anything like it. I love that shade of pink.

Gail said...

That is a beautiful and unusual shrub... It looks perfect in your garden.. is that a Japanese maple off to the right side of the photo? Nice combo with the coloring and leaves.


Nancy J. Bond said...

That beautiful pink would be a great addition to any garden.

GardenJoy4Me said...

I haven't heard of this shrub either .. the flowers are gorgeous ! .. like deep pink Lily of the Valley .. is it fragrant ?
Very nice !

Vanillalotus said...

Gorgeous shrub. I can't wait to see if you get seedlings or if your cuttings work. I have never seen the shrub before.

garden girl said...

What a beautiful shrub! The blossoms look a bit like pink lily of the valley.

Brenda Kula said...

I love plants that give good foliage in the fall. But in East Texas, we kind of skip fall in many ways. It is a beautiful shrub. And it seems to get so big it might as well be a tree!

Shady Gardener said...

I have a lot of questions; guess I could look them up myself! It's a beautiful shrub, though. Unusual flowers! I'm trying to find things that grow berries for winter birds... but not Everything has to do that!:-)

Melanie said...

Cinj, the pink blooms really are stunning!

Gail, yes the tree next to the Enkianthus is a maple seedling similar to Acer palmatum 'Bloodgood'. This tree seeds around well and people tend to save the seedlings with the best color and form. I was given a few of these trees, I think there's 6 of them now in the back of my yard. Although I've seen new seedlings, I haven't seen any that made it to their second year.

Nancy, the pink is a color that's wonderful to work with, it plays well with so many combinations.

Joy, I don't remember it being fragrant but it's a few feet inside my shade border and I'm not sure I stepped up close and took a sniff.

Vanillalotus, me too! I can't wait to try some cuttings on this beauty.

Linda, yes, it does look like lily of the valley. I bought a pink lily of the valley years ago, it doesn't seem to increase at all :-(

Brenda, the shrub in my photo should top out at 6 or 7 feet but that other variety, you are right, it's like a tree!

Shady gardener, I've been adding viburnums to my garden for the birds but this shrub is so pretty that even without berries it's a nice addition to the garden. I saw a website yesterday from a nursery in Maine that carries a large selection of Enkianthus so it must be pretty hardy too.

Kylee said...

Beautiful! I've heard of it, but know nothing about it. I don't think I've ever seen it in any of our nurseries.

Phillip said...

I am so envious. I have lusted after this in Michael Dirr's book for a long time. I finally bought one from ForestFarm and it died on me. I want to try it again.

Anna of RavenCroft said...

Melanie! Wow! I've never seen or heard of this plant. I want one! Thanks for the link to UConn so I can check it out more.