Enkianthus campanulatus 'Showy Lantern'

Common Name: furin-tsutsuji 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Ericaceae
Zone: 4 to 7
Height: 6.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: Pink to cherry red flowers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Good Fall

Culture

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.

Noteworthy Characteristics

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.

‘Showy Lantern’ has a slightly narrower form with large pink to cherry red flowers and dark green leaves which turn quality scarlet red in fall. It is densely branched from the ground up. May be less winter hardy than the species.

Problems

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.

Garden Uses

Specimen, group or mass in the landscape. Effective when grown with rhododendrons which share the same acidic soil requirements. Shrub borders, foundations.