Saturday, February 4, 2012


Pinckneya pubens
A very fast growing shrub or small tree, reaching a maximum size of 20 feet, that is native to swamplands from central Georgia to southeast South Carolina; south into northern Florida. It is endangered with extinction in the wild. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 feet; largest on record - 40 feet with a trunk diameter of 1.5 feet.
The oppositely-arranged, smooth-edged, elliptical leaves, up to 8 x 4.8 inches, are glossy mid-green.
The creamy-white, tubular flowers, up to 3 inches in length, are borne in clusters, up to 12 inches across, that include leaf-like pink bracts. While in bloom, it appears like a tree-like Poinsettia.
The flowers are followed by 2-celled, rounded brown capsules.
The scaly bark is light brown.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( it may tolerate temperatures as low as -10 F when grown as a perennial ). The Pinckneya thrives in full sun to partial shade on moist, fertile, light, acidic soil. In mild climates it may be trained as a single trunk tree by removing root suckers as well as removing lower branches during winter. Propagation is from seed soaked in cold water for 24 hours then cold stratified ( in moist peat in refridgerator? ) for 3 months before sowing 0.2 inches deep.

* historic archive photo

White flower bracts.

'Larry's Party'
The pink flower bracts persist over a long season lasting up to 6 weeks.

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