Thursday, September 15, 2011

Courtesy Leaf


A family of 15 evergreen shrubs or trees native to Asia that can be grown for their very attractive foliage. They prefer partial shade and a site protected from excessive wind. Slightly acid, deep, moist well drained soil is preferred as it a layer of protective mulch. They are NOT eaten by deer.
Generally pest and disease free and reproduction is easy from stratified seed or also softwood cuttings or semi ripe cuttings in summer.

Daphniphyllum calycinum
An evergreen shrub, reaching up to 13 x 13 feet, that is native to southern China, Japan and Vietnam.
The leaves, up to 6.5 x 3.5 inches, are bright green above, even brighter green beneath.
The bluish-black fruits are borne on female plants that are pollinated.
Hardy zones 7b to 9 in full sun to partial shade on moist, well drained soil. It is very heat and humidity tolerant and thrives in the southeastern U.S.

Daphniphyllum glaucescens
A very beautiful, vigorous, evergreen tree reaching up to 50 x 20 feet; that is native to central & southern China, south into Indonesia. It can reach up to 20 feet in 20 years and the largest on record is 100 feet. While rare; this extremely beautiful plant has much potential in both the Pacific Northwest and the southeast U.S.
The oval leaves are up to 7 x 2 inches in size. The luxuriant foliage is blue-green.
The blackish-purple fruits persist through the winter.
Hardy north to zone 7 to 9. An understory plant in the wild; it prefers moist shade when young however eventually may emerge into the tree tops into full sun.

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

* historical archive photo

subsp. 'Oldhamii'
New foliage extremely attractive bright orange to deep to purple red fading to green in summer.

Daphniphyllum humile ( Hokkaido Courtesy Leaf )
A slow growing, dense, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 4 x 6 feet, that is native to forest understory in far southeastern Russia, Korea and northern Japan. Some records include: 2 years - 15 inches; largest on record - 10 x 15 feet. It makes an excellent, dense, tall groundcover for shady sites.
The alternately-spaced, narrowly-elliptical leaves are up to 6 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is bright green at first, turning to glossy deep green.
The tiny pale pink flowers appear during late spring.
Hardy zones 6 to 8 in partial to full shade.

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

Daphniphyllum macropodium ( Courtesy Leaf )
A very beautiful, tropical looking, vigorous, dense, large shrub to medium-sized tree native of central to southeastern China, Korea and Japan. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 2 feet; largest on record - 65 x 50 ( rarely over 20 ) feet with a trunk diameter of up to 3.3 feet.
The large, thick, leathery, oval leaves, up to 9 x 4 inches in size, look like that of the Catawba Rhododendron. The waxy leaves are reddish at first, turning to very deep green above, dull gray below. They are carried on showy, red leaf stalks.
The tiny light green flowers borne during late spring are barely noticable.
They are followed by bluish-black berries, up to 0.5 inches in size, that can persist through the winter.
The stems are reddish-purple.
Hardy zones 6 to 9; heat tolerant and grows very well in the Mid Atlantic and southeastern U.S. Surprisingly cold tolerant for a plant of such tropical appearance, the Courtesy Leaf is very easy to grow. They make both a great specimen plant and screen, and tolerate salty ocean breezes well. It grows best in moist, well drained, acid soil and likes shelter and part shade though tolerant of full sun. It is not bothered by pests and diseases.

* photos taken Feb 2009 @ U.S. National Arboretum

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

* photo taken on Mar 8 2013 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD
* photos taken on May 7 2013 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

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

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

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

Daphniphyllum teijsmannii
A rare, medium-sized, evergreen shrub that is native to Japan.
The leathery, narrow leaves are glossy deep green above, bluish-white beneath.
The smooth bark is yellowish-brown.
The berries are very dark purple.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( tolerating -10 F ) in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.

'Variegated' ( Variegated Daphniphyllum )
A very rare, medium-sized, evergreen shrub. Some records include: 10 years - 4 x 3 feet.
The leathery, thick leaves are green and boldly edged in creamy-white.
The leafstalks and stems are red.
It makes a spectacular landscape plant.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 ( tolerating -10 F ) in full sun to partial shade on well drained soil.

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