Neillia sinensis
Common Name: Chinese neillia 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Rosaceae
Native Range: Central China
Zone: 5 to 7
Height: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White to pale pink
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Hedge, Naturalize
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Best with consistent moisture. Prune immediately after flowering. Thin out old stems as needed. Remove suckers to prevent unwanted colonial spread. Propagate from seed, cuttings or root suckers.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Neillia sinensis, commonly called Chinese neillia, is an arching, rounded, suckering, deciduous shrub that typically grows 5-6' (infrequently to 10') tall and as wide. It is native to valley slopes and mixed forests in central, southwestern and southern China. It is a member of the rose family (resembling Spiraea). Smooth reddish-brown branchlets are clad with alternate, sometimes lobed, ovate to ovate-elliptic leaves (2-4" long) with doubly serrate margins. Leaves emerge purplish bronze in spring, mature to dark green and then turn yellow in fall. Tiny, tubular, white to pale pink flowers (1/2" diameter) in 2 1/2" cernuous (nodding) terminal racemes (12-20 flowers per raceme) bloom in late spring to early summer (May-July). Fruit is a dehiscent follicle. Bark tends to exfoliate on older shrubs.

Neillia sinensis is very similar in appearance to Neillia ribesioides (synonymous with and formerly known as Neillia sinensis var. ribesioides), the main difference between these two shrubs being in the length of the calyx tube (N. sinensis tube is to 1/4" long and N. ribesioides tube is to 1/3" long).

Genus name honors Patrick Neill (1776-1851), printer and Scottish horticulturist and naturalist, of Edinburgh, Secretary of the Caledonian Horticultural Society.

Specific epithet means native to China.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Specimen or small groups. Shrub borders. Woodland margins. Open woodland areas.