Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained, acidic soils in full sun to part shade. Best in part shade. Prefers moist, organically rich, peaty soils with a pH below 6. Blooms on previous year’s growth, so any pruning should be done immediately after flowering.
Enkianthus campanulatus, commonly called redvein enkianthus, is an upright, deciduous shrub which typically grows 6-8’ tall (less frequently to 10-15’). It is native to open woodlands in Japan. Tiny, bell-shaped, nodding, creamy-yellow to whitish-pink flowers (each to 1/ 2” long) with pink striping and edging appear in pendulous clusters (racemes) in late spring (May-June). Individual flowers resemble those of Pieris which is in the same family. Elliptic, serrate, medium green to bluish green leaves (to 3” long) are crowded near the branch ends. Fall color is variable, but at its best features quality red foliage with tones of orange, yellow and purple.
Genus name comes from the Greek words enkyos meaning pregnant and anthos meaning flower in reference to the pregnant-looking flowers (prominent swelling at the base of each flower) found on some (e.g., E. quinqueflora) but not all species in the genus.
Specific epithet comes from the Latin word campanulatus meaning bell-shaped in reference to the shape of the flowers.
No serious insect or disease problems. Since fall color is variable with this species, gardeners may wish to purchase plants in autumn when fall color is on display. Watch for spider mites in hot summer climates.
Specimen, group or mass in the landscape. Effective when grown with rhododendrons which share the same acidic soil requirements. Shrub borders, foundations.