Loropetalum

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Common name: Fringe Flower

Family/Genus/Species: Hamamelidaceae Loropetalum Chinense

Type/variety:

Although I wish to offer information on loropetalum chinense in general, Ever Red™ is the specific variety I am writing about today:

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Description:

Originally native to Asia, it is a shrub that grows quite well in the warmer southern states. It possesses dark and richly colored leaves with deep red blooms that exhibit a sweet scent. Commonly used as a shrub, tree or hedge, loropetalum chinense is a unique and beautiful addition to any landscape setting.

What kind of sun and water and soil does it take?

  • Fringe flowers require well-draining soil, as root rot can occur if the soil remains too moist for too long. Otherwise hardy and low maintenance, fringe flowers do well in full sun to part shade. As long as temperatures do not bump beneath zero degrees, this evergreen will do well in all seasons.
  • Prefers acidy soil and requires modest fertilization. Fertilize during late winter or early spring, while it is blooming, with any type of rhododendron or evergreen fertilize.
  • Hard pruning should wait until spring, after the flowers have finished blooming. Like azaleas, fringe flowers set their buds in summer, therefore pruning between summer and the following spring decreases the number of flowers for the next growing season. Light pruning during these seasons is harmless, however.

What part of this plant is edible?

  • I don’t know, but if someone else does, I would love to hear about it!

What hardiness zones does this plant best thrive in?

  • Zones 7 through 9

What season does it bloom?

  • Late winter to early spring.

What is its use in landscaping?

  • Loropetalum chinense boasts of a tendency to grow vertically, and as such it is not unusual for one of these shrubs to get twelve feet tall, if left unchecked. Another growing strategy involves pruning the lower branches and encouraging central vertical branches to thicken up into tree form.
  • As per the scope of landscape use, loropetalum chinense can be used as hedges, small trees, or as individual broadleaf shrubs. The dark leaves offer a wonderful deep contrast to lighter-colored plants, making it a good selection to help their fragile hues stand out more. Long hedges can be beautiful arranged, provided they are not harshly pruned but allowed to retain a portion of their natural shape.

How to propagate plants:

  • For the ”Ever Red™” variety, propagation has been prohibited by the owners. However, fringe flowers of other varieties can be propagated via seeds or stems cuttings. Sow newly ripened seeds in outdoor containers in the summer, or root fresh cuttings of partly established branches.
  • Other types of purchasable varieties include: pink flower, white flower, purple flower, groundcover, hedge and vertically-inclined.

Further research:

http://gardenersconfidence.com/plants/ever-red-loropetalum

https://www.finegardening.com/plantguide/genus/loropetalum.aspx

http://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/plants/landscape/shrubs/hgic1085.html

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