Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-10 where plants are best grown in rich, humusy, acidic, moist, somewhat gritty, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Conservatively, this plant is best in USDA 8 or more, but it may do well in Zone 7 if planted in a protected location. Best sited in sunny areas with some afternoon part shade. In areas where winter temperatures are likely to dip into the teens, plants should be sited in locations protected from winds and given a root mulch. Mulch also helps plants retain soil moisture in summer. Plants generally produce best flowers and leaf colors in sunnier locations. Little pruning is needed other than what is necessary to maintain size and shape.
Loropetalum chinense, commonly called Chinese fringe flower, is a white-flowered broad-leaved evergreen shrub of the witch hazel family. It is native to woodlands in China, Southeast Asia and Japan. It typically grows in a rounded multi-stemmed form to 6-10’ tall, but may over time rise to as much as 20’ tall. Alternate, ovate, dark green, evergreen leaves (to 2.5” long) have asymmetrical bases. Leaves are pale green and pubescent below. Brown shoots are pubescent. Lightly aromatic, spidery flowers bloom in clusters in spring (late March-April). Each flower has four narrow, downward-drooping, strap-shaped white petals (3/4" wide and 1/16" long).
A number of cultivars featuring showy reddish purple leaves (var. rubrum) are available in commerce.
Genus name comes from the Greek words loron meaning strap and petalon meaning leaf or petal in reference to the form of the flower petals.
Specific epithet means China in reference to part of its native range.
Forma rubrum is a pink to red flowered form.
‘Razzle-Dazzle’ is noted for its pink flowers.
No serious insect or disease problems. Root rot may occur in poorly drained clay soils. Consider elevated plantings. Chlorosis may occur in neutral to alkaline soils. Mites may cause foliage to yellow. Watch for aphids.
Borders, screens or foundations. Woodland gardens. Containers in the St. Louis area.