Alice Longfellow has owned and operated Longfellow's Garden Center in Centertown for 25 years and shares her gardening knowledge weekly on the mid-Missouri based radio show "The Garden Spot."


Seven-Son Flower
by Alice Longfellow - posted 03/09/12

The sepals and small fruit offer a unique autumn display and remain on the shrub until winter.
(Photo Courtesy of Bailey Nurseries)

When looking for a plant with interesting winter characteristics, Heptacodium is a practically unknown large shrub with peeling bark. Often limbed up to make a multi-trunk small tree, strips and layers of cream, tan and brown on twisting and muscled trunks looks much like a mature crapemyrtle.

Heptacodium is also known for its large clusters of pleasantly fragrant white flowers from late August through October. The flowers are a good source for nectar for butterflies in the fall season. As the petals drop off, the rose-colored sepals and small purple fruit are left behind to make a nice display until winter.
Also known as seven-son flower or hardy crapemyrtle, Heptacodium tolerates hot and dry conditions, a wide range of soil types and it grows best in a sunny site.


Heptacodium offers fall and winter interest in the landscape. Use as an accent or screen. Above two photos courtesy of Missouri Botanical Garden Plant Finder: Chris Starbuck

Common Name: Seven-Son Flower

Botanical Name: Heptacodium miconioides

Color: White

Blooming Period: Late summer and early fall

Type: Large shrub or small tree

Size: 15 to 20 feet tall and 10 feet wide

Form: Fountain or oval shaped

Exposure: Full sun to partial shade

When to Prune: Winter or early spring

In Your Landscape: Use in a shrub border or woodland garden, or as a focal point or lawn specimen.  




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