Friday, February 17, 2012

Weeping Chinese Fringe Flower

Weeping Chinese Fringe Flower
Loropetalum chinense 'Plum Purple'
(lor-oh-PET-al-um) (chi-NEN-see)
Synonyms: Chinese Witch Hazel

This was my first look at this plant in a landscape situation and it is super attractive. The foliage is outstanding and sets up the little yellow flowers nicely. This specimen was growing in the Ladies Border at the NYBG. That is the area devoted to growing plants that are not really hardy in the area. Loropetalum is rated to USDA Zone 7 so it wouldn’t make it in Connecticut (maybe on the direct shoreline) but should be good in the Bronx where this was living.

The problem I have found growing Zone 7 plants in Connecticut is that you are good for many seasons until we get that one bad winter and it kills everything back to the ground. Sometimes we have multiple bad winters in a row and that really finishes things off. We had some Crepe Myrtles at the Estate for about 10 years and they were really beautiful. The 11th winter killed the tops and the resulting growth from the roots was disappointing for a couple of years after that. I had hoped that some sort of flowering shrub would develop but it never did.

Loropetalum likes partial sun and well drained soil. It has minimal water needs after getting established. There are numerous other cultvars available.


Janet, The Queen of Seaford said...

Chris, I have never seen a Loropetalum with that kind of flower (the yellow one). Usual flower is like a witch hazel flower, fringe-y. I have a few Loropetalum, one 'newer' variety, 'Ever Red'. Super plant.
Sorry you have such zonal issues.

Digital Flower Pictures said...

Yeah there is something weird about this photo. I haven't figured it out yet.