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ALANGIUM chinense

Image of Alangium chinense

James Burghardt

Family

Cornaceae

Botanical Name

ALANGIUM chinense

Plant Common Name

Begonialeaf Alangium, Chinese Alangium

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

Lovely green leaves with short pointed lobes adorn the zig-zagged branches of Chinese alangium. Blooming in early summer and again in mid-autumn, the small oval fruits turn dark blue in autumn, too. A large shrub to small tree that is evergreen in frost-free climates but deciduous elsewhere, it is native to a large expanse of southern Asia's Himalayas eastward into the highlands of southeast Asia. Natural variant forms can also be found in eastern Africa.

The leaves are rounded when young, having five veins and short, tipped lobes. Older foliage, particularly noted in regions where the plant is evergreen, are more oval or have fewer lobes. In late spring and early summer, clusters of small, sweetly fragrant flowers appear in clusters of no less than seven blossoms at the base of leaves. The blossom is pale yellow with golden hairs. It can rebloom again in mid-autumn. The small oval fruits that form and ripen in late autumn are cobalt blue to indigo in color.

Grow Chinese alangium in full to partial sun in a well-draining, fertile soil. Not tolerant of frosts, the plant will be killed to the ground in cold but mild-winter areas and will rejuvenate each spring as a shrub with the more attractively lobed foliage form. In tropical areas it can become an upright but oval canopied shade tree. It is lovely in a mixed shrub border where the fragrant flowers and pretty colored fruits and foliage can be admired. Consider pruning back this plant to its base each year in tropical areas to enjoy the foliage on a shrub-like accent.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    12 - 8

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    7 - 13

  • Sunset Zone

    H1, H2, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24

  • Plant Type

    Tree

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    10'-40' / 3.0m - 12.2m

  • Width

    12'-20' / 3.7m - 6.1m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Spring, Early Summer, Fall

  • Native To

    Southern Asia, India, Nepal, China

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral, Alkaline

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Growth Rate

    Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    Light Yellow, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Indigo, Dark Blue

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    Yes

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Feature Plant, Mixed Border, Shade Trees, Street Trees, Tropical

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes