Friday, March 22, 2013

Load of Petalums

Some time ago when i wrote about Loropetalum, someone commented that her yard man called them 'Load of Petalums.' They do carry a load of those little fringes.

Let's start with white loropetalum. Fifteen years ago when I first knew about these shrubs, the famous Horticulture Professor wrote in his book that the new pink loropetalums that were all the landscape rave, showed great promise but the white were of little consequence. I think the white are beautiful. You can see many little buds yet to open. I didn't make a picture of the whole shrub, the size of a minibus, because it hasn't come into its full spring glory just yet.  

Loropetalums have a long bloom time. They start ahead of azaleas and keep going into summer. About August they put on a new show.

The lighter pinks have green foliage. In this particular location I have
a pink and a darker fuchsia color. The pink is slower growing.

The fuchsia color has darker leaves. New leaves are a dark reddish purple.
I plan to move a third Loropetalum between these two, to the rear.
The tree in the background is a fruiting pear.

When I planted these more than 10 years ago, we thought Loropetalums were manageable shrubs.
Turned out they grow into trees except for a few dwarf types. Landscapers in town keep them clipped into rounds and pillboxes. I prefer mine to grow as they will and just prune the lower branches. I first say this same arrangement of three on a Park Seed web site. I immediately started pruning.

These shrubs are not quite tree size, but I'm already pruning from the bottom. Sometimes they need redirecting to grow upright. The one on the right will need encouragement.

These are sometimes called by the common name, Chinese Fringe Flower, which gets confused with the Chinese Fringe Tree, Chionanthus. Better to call them by the botanical name, Loropetalum.
Evergreen in zones 7-10, root hardy farther north. Do they grow in your area?


  1. They are beautiful when fully flowering as shown in your photos. The white variety looks like our coffee in bloom.

  2. Haven't tried them yet up here in zone 5-6, but who knows with global warming and all...

  3. I have one of these bought last spring. I have a feeling I might have to move it since seeing yours so big. I just love the color of the foliage and the bright pink flowers.


  4. I almost bought one of these last week. After seeing your pictures, I wish I had. These are really pretty and such a long bloom time!


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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