Monday, September 12, 2011

Chinese Leptodermis

Leptodermis oblonga
A suckering, fast growing, compact, small, deciduous shrub, reaching a maximum size of 5.5 x 6 feet, though rarely more than half that. This northwestern Chinese native is the single species within a genus that is part of the larger Rubiaceae family. This low growing shrub is great for the fronts of borders, edging and rock gardens.
It can also be used for groundcover.
The small, ovate to oblong leaves, up to 0.7 inches in length, are mid-green.
The foliage is late to emerge during spring.
The fragrant, lavender to violet-purple, tubular flowers, up to 0.7 inches long, are borne profusely beginning late spring lasting for a period up to 6 weeks, then sporadically until autumn frosts. Plants have been recorded blooming for as long as 10 months in a year. The flowers attract butterflies.
Hardy zones 5 to 7 ( less vigorous in 8 ) in full sun to partial shade on moderately moist, well drained soil. Tolerant of heat, drought and cold. It is not known to be prone to pests or disease. Deer resistant. Pruning is not needed but plants can be shaped after blooming. In the coldest parts of its range, it may be reduced to a perennial during severe winters, prune out dead wood in spring. Propagation is from softwood cuttings and seed sown during autumn.

* photos taken on Sep 10 2011 in Howard County, MD

* photos taken on Oct 17 2013 in Olney, MD

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