Thursday, April 8, 2010



A family of exotic looking large shrubs for temperate climate regions that prefer sun to partial shade on light, well drained, fertile acidic soil. Can be reproduced from seed and half hardened or softwood cuttings taken during summer.

Stachyurus chinensis
A very vigorous ( record growth rate is 9 feet! ) shrub to 20 x 20 feet, that is a widespread native of central, southern & southeastern China.
The oval leaves, up to 9 x 3.5 inches in size, tapers abruptly at the tip. The leaves are lush green.
The pale yellow racemes, up to 4 inches long, are borne approximately 2 weeks after Stachyrus praecox during early spring.
The cinnamon bark is flaking.
Hardy from zone 6 to 9 and easy to grow.

Similar to species. Has attractive fall color ranging from golden-yellow to orange and red.

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

'Joy Forever'
Reaches up to 8 feet in height in 10 years, eventually slightly more.
The deep green leaves are very bold and broadly edged in golden-yellow. The variegation turns pinkish during autumn.
The foliage contrasts very nicely with the deep red leafstalks and stems.

The foliage is light green and variegated pink & cream.
It reaches the same size as the species.

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum @ Swarthmore College, PA

* photo taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

Stachyurus himalaicus
A moderate growing shrub, reaching a maximum size of 17 ( rarely over 10 ) feet, that is native from northern India, and western China; south to northern Burma. Some records include: 8 years - 5.5 feet.
The narrow, lance-shaped to oblanceolate leaves are up to 5 x 2.3 inches in size. The foliage is mid-green with a red midrib.
The small, rosy-pink flowers are borne on hanging clusters, up to 5 inches in length, during early spring.
Hardy zones 7b to 9 in full sun to partial shade.

Stachyurus praecox ( Early Spiketail )
A fast growing, arching, large, deciduous shrub, reaching around 15 feet in height, that is a widespread native of Japan. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 8 feet; 5 years - 6.5 x 10 feet ( avg ); largest on record - 22 x 25 feet.
The large, pointed, oval leaves, up to 10 x 4 ( rarely over 7 ) inches, are glossy deep green, turning to red in fall. The very attractive foliage appears early in spring.
The tiny, yellow-green, bell-shaped flowers, up to 0.3 inches wide, are borne on drooping racemes, up to 8 inches in length, during late winter to very early spring.
The bark is smooth & purplish-brown. The stems are purplish.
Hardy zones 5 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on moist, fertile, humus-rich, acidic, well drained soil. Use Hokkaido seed source only in zone 5.

* photo taken on March 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photos taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

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

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

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

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

spectacular and tropical in appearence. Leaves and flowers are double the size of regular Stachyrus praecox.

* photo taken on Feb 8 2014 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

Red tinged flowers.

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

Stachyurus salicifolius ( Willow Leaf Spiketail )
A very attractive, rare, exotic appearing, fast growing, vase-shaped, evergreen shrub, with a graceful weeping habit. Some records include: 5 years - 6.5 x 6.5 feet; 10 years - 12 x 12 feet; largest on record - 25 x 17 feet. It is native to Sichuan & Yunnan Provinces in China.
The long, narrow leaves, up to 10 x 1.5 inches, are glossy mid-green. During summer, the willowy leaves have a red-pink midrib, During autumn in cooler climates alot of the foliage will turn to yellow in late November.
The flowers are borne in racemes up to 3.2 inches long very early in spring.
The bark is purplish-brown.
Hardy zones 7b to 10 ( tolerating 5 F ) but is best grown in a woodland habitat sheltered from winter winds north of zone 8. It prefers partial shade.

Stachyurus yunnanensis
An evergreen, large vining shrub, reaching up to 15 feet, that is native to China.
The lance-shaped leaves, up to 5 x 2 inches in size, are purple-red at first before turning to blue-green.
The greenish-yellow flowers are borne on hanging spikes during late spring.
Hardy zones 7b + in full sun to partial shade.

larger foliage up to 7 x 2.5 inches

A clone with purplish tinged foliage all summer as well as red leafstalks, leaf veins and stems

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