Heptacodium miconioides
Common Name: seven-son flower 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Caprifoliaceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 15.00 to 20.00 feet
Spread: 8.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: September
Bloom Description: White with pink calyx
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Attracts: Hummingbirds, Butterflies
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Grows in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun. Tolerates wide range of soils.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Heptacodium miconioides is a large, fountain-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically grows 15-20' at maturity with a 10' spread. May also be trained as a single-trunk tree. Features terminal panicles of fragrant, creamy-white flowers in late summer to early fall. Flowers appear in capitula (flattened clusters of stalkless blooms) within typically seven-branched clusters. Each capitulum typically contains six flowers. Flowers are followed in fall by an equally showy (if not showier) display: small, purplish-red fruits (½" long drupes) crowned by very showy, rose-pink calyces which elongate after bloom and last into late fall. Tan bark exfoliates to reveal attractive brown inner bark, which provides good winter interest. Leaves are narrow, shiny, ovate-oblong and medium-green. This plant, native to China, is rare and its wild populations are vulnerable to extinction. However, it has relatively recently become available in commerce and is increasing in popularity as an ornamental shrub, though it may be difficult to find. It is a good source of nectar for butterflies and other insect pollinators in the fall.

The genus name Heptacodium comes from Greek and means "seven heads", in reference to the typically seven-part flower clusters that make up the inflorescence.

The specific epithet miconioides alludes to the similarities of the plant to the unrelated genus Miconia in the Melastomataceae family.

The common name seven-son flower comes from the translation of the Chinese name for this plant. The name refers to the typically seven-part flower clusters that make up the inflorescence.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

A somewhat rare and unique plant with year-round interest. Shrub border or woodland garden. Excellent as a lawn specimen or accent around the home.