Loropetalum chinense (var. rubrum), Chinese Fringe Flower

Family: Hamamalidaceae | Origin: East Asia

This new shrub arrived in Israel a few years ago and does well both on the coastal plain and in Jerusalem. In the United States, where it has been in gardening since the 1980s, it has proved resistant to severe cold and extreme heat and is widely used in hedges, to cover areas and in large containers. However, due to its clear preference for acidic and non-calcareous soils, it seems that in the mountain area it will succeed mainly in containers or in detached planting beds.

Chinese Loropetalum is an evergreen shrub with small elliptical leaves that start pink and grow in flat layers along the branches. From mid-winter, the bush begins blooming with delicate and fragrant flowers, whose petals are cut into bright pink threads. An abundant and spectacular peak in flowering occurs between February and April and  some sporadic blooms appear in other seasons as well.

The plant grows well under full sun to partial shade and can probably reach a height and diameter of about 1.5 meters or a little more. At maturity, it will also develop some resistance to dryness, but regular watering, appropriate fertilization and perhaps some additional iron when necessary will maintain a vital and healthy appearance.

Loropetalum chinense rarely requires any pruning, although it can be reduced in size and cleaned from time to time with light pruning at the end of the spring flowering wave or even at other times. In the hot areas of the country, one should check carefully that it does not suffer in the height of summer under full sun conditions.

This shrub is suitable as a flowering central shrub in a large container or, with the appropriate soil, as a hedge, in mixed shrubberies and as a large ground cover.

:An exciting and new addition

Just a week ago we received for the first time a new variety called Loropetalum chinense ‘Black Pearl’ with beautiful burgundy colored leaves and reddish-pink flowers. In our opinion, it will succeed under the same conditions as the older variety and is a shrub with great ornamental potential.

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