Leucothoe keiskei 'Opstal 50' BURNING LOVE

Common Name: leucothoe 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Ericaceae
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Spread: 2.00 to 3.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest


Best grown in rich, slightly acidic, well-draining humusy loams in part shade. Hardy in USDA Zones 6-8.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Leucothoe keiskei, commonly called Japanese leucothoe, is a low-growing, evergreen shrub native to moist, rocky cliffs from south-central to east-central Japan. Mature plants will reach around 2-3' tall with a similar spread. The leathery, glossy, dark green, ovate foliage can reach 3" long and 1" wide. Terminal clusters of 0.5-0.75" long, cylindrical, drooping, white blooms emerge from late spring to early summer.

Genus name honors Leucothoe, one of the many loves of Apollo.

The specific epithet keiskei honors Keisuke Ito (1803-1901) a Japanese physician and botanist.

'Opstal 50' is a compact Japanese leucothoe cultivar that features colorful foliage. It was discovered as a branch mutation of Leucothoe keiskei 'Royal Ruby'. Mature plants will reach up to 2.5' tall with a similar spread. The branches are upright to slightly arching. The glossy, evergreen foliage emerges in spring with bright red coloration before maturing to dark green. The leaves turn shades of dark burgundy in fall and retain this color through winter. Commonly sold at nurseries and garden centers under the name BURNING LOVE. This plant is protected by patent number PP27132.


No major pest or disease problems of note.


Woodland garden, rock garden, shady mixed border fronts. Suitable for use in large containers.