Thursday, April 8, 2010

Pieris

A genus of plants with 7 species that is in the larger Ericacae family which also includes Heathers, Rhododendeons, Azaleas, Leucothoes & Kalmias.
The Pieris prefer cool, moist, light, well drained soils. Foliage is lusher in partial shade though in cooler climates full sun may yield better bloom. Mulching is recommended to keep the soil cool and they especially like Pine needle mulch.
Little pruning is needed except for occasional neatening up. Deadheading immediately after blooming improves growth. The Pieris can be pruned to keep it smaller however shearing is NOT recommended.
They can be propagated from layers and half hardened cuttings in summer. The species can also be grown from seed sown during autumn.
PH level below 5 & bark based mix prevents root rot in container plants. Rot fungus usually kills plants in the first year. Some varieties ( 'Crystal' ) are more resistant to root rot than others ( 'Mountain Fire' ).
Pieris's are NOT eaten by deer but are sometime prone to Lacebug which gives the leaves are heavily dotted washed out appearance ruining the appearance of the foliage and robbing the plant of vigor. Lacebug seems to be more common in hot sunny sites which the Pieris doesn't like to begin with. If you notice Lacebug then go to the local garden center and find a spray for it then spray the foliage until runoff ( use all required safety precautions ) then the following year treat in spring with a systemic insecticide such as Bayer poured around the base to eliminate the Lacebug for the entire season. If lacebug is not a problem in your area ( it is also common on Azaleas ) then no worries, just leave the plant alone.
Even though eating Pieris never actually crossed my mind; it is poisonous to humans and animals including deer so - don't eat it.

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Pieris 'Browers Beauty'
A slow growing ( growth rate up to 12 inches per year ) dense evergreen reaching up to 4 feet in 5 years, 7 x 5 feet in 10 years and an eventual maximum size of 10 x 8.2 feet. It is a hybrid between Pieris floribunda and P. japonica.
The new foliage during spring is lush yellow-green turning glossy deep green in summer. The leaves reach up to 3 inches in length.
The white flowers are borne in clusters up to 5 inches in length, during spring. The flowers buds are purplish-red in color.
Exceptionally hardy tolerating as low as -40 F ( if protected from wind ). Prone to less bug but not nearly as bad as Pieris japonica.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


Pieris floribunda ( Mountain Pieris )
Native to the U.S. from West Virginia to northern Georgia in wooded mountainous areas. It is a bushy, rounded shrub reaching up to 6 feet or rarely 8 x 10 feet in size. It is slow growing, averaging 6 inches per year.
The toothed, pointed, oval leaves, up to 3.5 x 1 inches in size, are glossy deep green.
The small ( 0.3 inch ) white long lasting flowers are carried in showy panicles up to 5 inches in length appear early to mid spring. Unlike the Asian Pieris's - the flower panicles are much more upright.
Hardy zones 4 to 6 tolerating as low as -30 F, its native range is the result of the previous ice age bulldozing it out of its preferred habitat of the northeast. This Pieris is prone to root rot in hot humid summers and does not grow well in lowland areas of the Mid Atlantic and definately not the Deep South. Preferring partial to full shade, this Pieris tolerates alkaline soils making it a good choice for areas such as much of southern Ontario where other Pieris may suffer chlorosis. Dead heading after blooming improved growth. It is NOT prone to Lacebug, unlike other Pieris.

* historical archive photo


'Millstream'
A compact mounded form excellent for the rock garden. It has deep green foliage and pure white flowers in spring.
Hardy zones 4 to 6 preferring cool summers.

Pieris 'Forest Flame'
A strongly upright shrub that is the hybrid between P. formosa 'Wakehurst' & P. japonica. It reaches up to 6 x 6 feet in 10 years, with an eventual maximum size of 18 x 10 feet.
The very attractive foliage is bright red at first during spring, turning to pink then cream then pale green and finally to dark green later in the summer. The leaves are up to 5 x 1.2 inches in size.
The showy, white flowers are borne in panicles, up to 6 inches in length, during spring.
hardy zones 6 to 9 ( 5b on protected sites )

* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


Pieris formosa ( Taiwanese Pieris )
An evergreen native of the Himalayan region, this Pieris can eventually become a small tree. It is slow growing and for many years remains a suckering shrub reaching up to 20 x 20 feet in 20 years. The largest on record is 44 x 33 feet with a trunk diameter of 16 inches.
The finely-toothed, elliptic leaves, up to 7 x 2.3 ( rarely over 5 ) inches, are slightly glossy deep green.
The fragrant, white flowers, up to 0.3 inches in length, are borne in heavy panicles, up to 8 x 6 inches in size, that often droop from their own weight. The flowers persist over a long season, up to 1.5 months, beginning late winter.
Hardy zones 7 to 10. It thrives especially well in the British Isles.

'Henry Price'
Foliage is dark bronze at first later turning to very dark green.

'Wakehurst'
Vigorous growing, bushy, dense and produces suckers.
The foliage is scarlet-red at first later aging to green giving a Poinsettia like effect.
Zones 7 to 9.

subsp. 'Forrestii'
Brilliant scarlet-red new foliage during spring later ages to green.
The fragrant white flowers are in drooping panicles

Pieris japonica ( Japanese Pieris )
An attractive, moderate growing, large evergreen shrub that is native to open mountain forests from eastern China to Japan. Rarely exceeding 13 feet, it can grow much larger with great age on ideal sites. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 ( rarely over 1 ) feet; 10 years - 10 x 10 ( rarely over 6 ) feet; largest on record - 30 x 20 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot. Older plants pruned carefully also create a natural bonsai like effect.
The toothed, oval leaves are up to 4 x 1 inches in size. The leathery foliage is reddish at first ( creating a poinsettia-like effect ), turning to glossy deep green.
The white flowers, up to 0.3 inches long, are borne on drooping, terminal panicles, up to 6 inches in length, during early spring. They somewhat resemble that of Lily of the Valley in appearance.
The fissured bark is grayish-brown.
Hardy zones 4 to 8 in partial or dappled shade on well mulched, moist, fertile, very acidic, well drained soil on a site protected from excessive winds. In areas with heavier soils, planting on a slope or raised bed may be necessary.





* Middle plants are Pieris japonica kept pruned lower than their natural height


* photos taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum



* photo taken on May 8 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD


* photos taken on Aug 24 2011 in Columbia, MD


* photo taken on Apr 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 28 2015 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Dec 3 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 18 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD




'Angel Falls'
Reaching up to 12 x 10 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot with great age.
The foliage is pinkish at first, turning to mid-green and boldly margined creamy-white.
The flowers are mid-pink.

'Bert Chandler'
Light pink new growth turning to yellow then green.

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photos taken on Apr 1 2015 in Columbia, MD



'Cavatine'

Fast growing though compact to only 2 x 3 feet in 10 years and eventually to 5 x 4 feet. This dwarf is great for use in insulated containers.
The abundant, white flowers are borne on upright panicles.
Hardy to -25 F



'Christmas Cheer'
Similar to species, the foliage is bronze or red at first.
Early pink flowers

'Crystal'

Large, thick glossy dark green leaves. ONE OF THE BEST CULTIVERS in the Mid Atlantic Region - Heat tolerant and Phytophora resistant!!!

'Dorothy Wyckoff'
Similar to species but more dense & compact with pink ( purplish-red in bud ) flowers in weeping panicles.
The deeply-veined foliage is deep green, turning to reddish-bronze during winter.



* photos taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on July 5 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Fire n Ice'
Variegated foliage, to 6 x 6 feet

* photos taken in Howard County, MD on April 9 2010





'Flamingo'
Vigorous growing with bronze-red new growth that turns to glossy deep green in summer. Flowers retain their deep pink-red color for a long period of time.

'Flaming Silver'
Vigorous, reaching up to 6 x 6 feet.
The very attractive foliage is intense pinkish-red at first, turning to mid-green with a silvery-white edge.

* photos taken on April 7 in Clarksville, MD







'Karenoma'
Vigorous but reaching a maximum size of only 6 x 4 feet.
The foliage is reddish-bronze at first during spring, later turning to green.
The flowers are pure white.
Similar to 'Mountain Fire' but more cold hardy. Hardy to zone 4 tolerating -30 F.

'Katsura'
Vigorous but compact, up to 3 feet in 5 years, 5 x 5 feet in 10 years, eventually reaching to 10 x 6 feet. Fast growing, it takes just 2 years to produce a 5 gallon size plant.
The leaves, up to 1.5 x 0.7 inches, are intense lacquered deep red at first, turning glossy deep green during summer, then to bronze or purple-red in autumn.
Hardy zones 5 to 8. Very pest and disease resistant, it is also more heat and humidity tolerant than most Pieris.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photo taken on May 26 2016 in Howard Co., MD


subsp. koidzumiana
Also called Pieris koidzumiana. A very attractive form with a compact habit, reaching only 10 feet in height. It is native to Okinawa and Amami Ohshima islands of southern Japan but has become extinct in the wild.
The oblanceolate leaves are up to 3.2 inches in length. The very attractive foliage is very glossy deep green.
The pure white flowers, up to 0.4 inches long, appear early to mid spring.

* excellent photo links
http://treeflower.la.coocan.jp/Ericaceae/Pieris%20koidzumiana/DSC00751.JPG http://treeflower.la.coocan.jp/Ericaceae/Pieris%20koidzumiana/DSC00757.JPG

'Little Heath'
Dwarf and compact, reaching a maximum size of only 5 x 5 ( rarely over 3 x 3 ) feet. It is slow growing, up to 4 inches per year. This cultivar is great for use in containers.
The new foliage in spring is reddish in color giving a Poinsettia effect. The leaves later turn lush deep green edged in creamy-white.

* photo taken on May 14 2012 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on Nov 10 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

'Mountain Fire'
Reaching up to 8 x 8 ( rarely over 5 ) feet in 10 years and 12 x 10 feet with great age.
The new foliage during spring is scarlet-red before turning to mid-green giving a Poinsettia-like effect.
The pure white flowers are borne on large panicles persisting up to 4 weeks during mid-spring.



* photos taken on April 7 2010 in Clarksville, MD





* photos taken on Sep 3 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 4 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photos taken on May 9 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Mountain Snow'
More heat tolerant than most other Pieris though it is not recommended for full sun. It is a compact shrub reaching up to 5 x 5 ( rarely over 4 ) feet in size.
The new spring foliage is bronze-red in color and matures to dark green in summer.
The lightly fragrant, pure white flowers are borne on drooping panicles during mid-spring.

* excellent video found on Youtube


'Prelude'
Dwarf in habit, reaching a maximum size of 3.5 x 4 feet though typically half that. It is essentially a compact form of 'Mountain Fire' with red new leaves in the spring. I prefer to deadhead this plant after blooming which puts more energy into producing luxuriant growth.
The abundant, white ( pink in buds ) are borne densely on clusters.






* photo taken on Mar 17 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on April 13 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken by Milan Havis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photo taken on on Aug 23 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 22 2015 in Columbia, MD


'Purity'
Compact and upright oval in habit, reaching up to 4 x 4 ( rarely over 3 ) feet in 10 years and eventually up to 6 x 5 feet.
The foliage is bronze to red at first, turning to glossy deep green. It often produces a secondary flush of new growth during the summer.
It bears abundant, showy, pure white flowers on large clusters up to 6 inches in length.

* photos taken on Apr 21 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on May 2 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 5 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on June 29 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Pygmaea'
A compact form, that after many years may reach a maximum size of 5 x 4 feet.
The tiny narrow leaves up to an inch in length giving an airy effect to a shrub. The foliage is dark green.
The flowers are pure white. Deadheading after blooming encourages a better flush of new growth and neatens the appearance.
Tolerant of sun of not subjected to reflected heat.

'Red Mill'
Vigorous with deep red new foliage all summer long unlike 'Mountain Fire' which usually only has red new foliage in the spring.
It can reach up to 6.5 x 6 feet in size.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery


'Robinswood'
Foliage is brilliant red at first turning to lush green edged with yellow-green. Extremely attractive!

'Sarabande'
Vigorous but dense and compact in habit, reaching up to 4 x 3 feet in 10 years, reaching an eventual maximum size of 10 x 6 ( rarely over 6 ) feet.
The white flowers appear mid-spring and are very persistent.
Hardy zones 5 to 8

'Scarlet O'Hara'
Similar to 'Mountain Fire'

* photos taken in Howard County, MD on April 8 2010







'Temple Bells'
A vigorous but compact form reaching up to 4 x 4 feet in 10 years, with an eventual maximum size of 5 x 4 feet. The tiered branching habit gives it added visual appeal.
The bronze-orange new foliage during spring matures to glossy deep green during summer.
The large pure white flowers borne on very long, hanging panicles during early spring. Deadheading dead blooms improved growth and appearance.
Tolerant of sun if not subjected to excessive reflected heat.

'Valley Fire'

Vigorous growing with scarlet new growth in spring.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

'Valley Rose'
The foliage is bronze then pinkish at first during spring, before turning to deep green.
The deep rosy-red flower buds that persist all winter before opening to light pink flowers during spring.
It is similar in growth and size to Pieris japonica.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photos taken on Mar 19 2013 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 1 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on July 9 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on May 9 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 1 2017 in Columbia, MD


'Valley Valentine'
Dense and upright in habit, reaching up to 6 x 6 feet in 10 years, eventually up to 9 feet.
It bears abundant purplish-red flowers that open from deep red buds.
The foliage is lush glossy deep green.
It is sun tolerant in cooler climates if not subjected to too much reflected heat.

* photo taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photos taken on Apr 15 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Jun 5 2016 in Columbia, MD


'Variegata'
Reaching up to 12 x 10 feet with a trunk diameter of 1 foot with great age.
The foliage is pinkish at first, turning to mid-green and boldly margined creamy-white.
The flowers are pure white.

* photo taken @ Tyler Arboretum near Philly on August 2004

* photos taken on May 8 2010 @ McCrillis Gardens, Bethesda, MD



* photo of unknown internet source


'White Cascade'
Vigorous and upright in habit, bearing white flowers on long pendulous clusters exceeding 7 inches in length.
It is among the most beautiful of all Pieris in bloom.
The foliage is bronze at first, turning to glossy deep green.

* photo taken on Mar 23 2011 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Mar 17 2012 in Columbia, MD


Pieris nana

Native to Kamchatka Region of Russia; this is a miniature evergreen shrub only reaching up to 4 x 12 inches in size.
The ovate leaves are up to 1 inch in length. The leathery foliage is deep green, turning to red-bronze during winter.
The flowers are white in clusters up to 2.5 inches in length.
Hardy zones 3 to 6

Pieris ovalifolia

Native from Japan to the Himalayas and reaching up to 40 x 15 feet with a trunk diameter up to 1 foot. The dark green foliage is semi evergreen and oblong to 7 x 4 inches. Flowers are white.

Pieris phillyreifolia ( Vine Wicky )
The oddball of the family being everything the other Pieris's aren't. This one is a vine and loves the hot humid summers of the southeast U.S. and grows in swamps. One must wonder why its hardy genes haven't been bred into the other Pieris's and yes I'm wondering that too. Native from Alabama to South Carolina and south.
It does have the typical dark green evergreen oval Pieris foliage and white urn shape flowers in clusters in early spring. The leathery leaves, up to 2.5 inches in length, are glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 7 to 9, like most Pieris it also prefers partial to full shade.
It uses "fingers" to attach itself to the swamp trees it grows with and is never fast growing or invasive. I never seen it used as an ornamental plant but it certainly has potential. Hardy zones 7 to 9.

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

3 comments:

  1. Randy, you've got a great blog and know a lot about pieris! Perhaps you can help me, I've got six pieris japonica that are five years old. They're not thriving but they're not doing badly either. My problem is that they are always green; you don't see the reds in the new foliage lke you're supposed to. Is this a problem with the soil? Can you recommend something I can do to fix it? Thanks! Dean (deancummer@gmail.com)

    ReplyDelete
  2. U have a very nice blog..
    Your pictures are really great.
    flowers delivery china

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you! Really appreciate it! I will be posting much more.

    ReplyDelete