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ENKIANTHUS perulatus

Image of Enkianthus perulatus

Pao Delal

Family

Ericaceae

Botanical Name

ENKIANTHUS perulatus

Plant Common Name

White Enkianthus

General Description

Picturesque in habit and offering showy pinkish white springtime flowers and brilliant red fall foliage, white enkianthus is one of the most prized woody shrubs for a garden. Native to the upland beech forests of northern Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands of Japan, this slow-growing deciduous shrub is rare in commerce but choice enough to make it worth seeking out. If well-placed, mature specimens develop into beautifully rounded, medium-sized shrubs with tiered branches. This species was introduced into North America around 1860.

White enkianthus becomes covered with small, pointed, oval leaves of bright green that appear in mid-spring. As the leaves emerge, hundreds of tiny, white, urn-shaped flowers dangle in small clusters from branch tips. Each individual flower has five ridges and five very tiny petals. They emit a mild, somewhat unpleasant fragrance. When autumn's chill arrives, the foliage turns breathtaking tones of fiery crimson red.

Grow white enkianthus in a moist, well-drained soil that is acid and high in organic matter. Specimens are slow-growing and rarely produce seed. This is a fine plant for bonsai or placed as a specimen in a mixed border or Asian-themed garden.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 4

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    6 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m (6)

  • Width

    5'-8' / 1.5m - 2.4m (6)

  • Bloom Time

    Spring

  • Native To

    Japan

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam

  • Growth Rate

    Very Slow

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green, Light Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Red, Crimson

  • Bark Color

    Gray, Slate Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    No

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Smooth

  • Usage

    Alpine, Container, Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No