Chi­nese fringe flower

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NORTH EAST REGIONAL EXTRA - with Debbi Gibson, HOR­TI­CUL­TUR­AL­IST

ONE of the pret­ti­est or­na­men­tal plants, with ab­so­lutely glo­ri­ous flow­ers in spring, is the Chi­nese fringe flower, botan­i­cally known as Loropetalum chi­nense.

A na­tive of China and Ja­pan, this ev­er­green shrub or small tree has hor­i­zon­tal grow­ing branches and fea­tures clus­ters of scented flow­ers with slen­der tassled petals in ei­ther white or pink.

The white form varies from cream-white to pale yel­low and has green leaves, while the pink flow­er­ing va­ri­eties vary from rose pink, through to plum and deep bur­gundy, with leaves vary­ing in colour from bronze-red to olive green or bur­gundy.

But the coloured fo­liage tends to fade dur­ing the sum­mer months.

There are nu­mer­ous forms of the plant, ‘ Pur­ple Pixie’ is a dwarf form grow­ing 30-50 cm tall and 1.2-1.5 m wide, with rich pur­ple fo­liage and pink flow­ers in spring.

Small va­ri­eties grow around 1.5 m tall while the taller va­ri­eties can reach over three me­tres in height.

Chi­nese fringe flow­ers have their main flush of flow­ers in spring but some have spo­radic flow­er­ing in sum­mer and au­tumn as well.

‘Plum Gor­geous ‘ is a va­ri­ety bred in Aus­tralia and has a more com­pact grow­ing habit, rounded shape and re­tains its deep plum coloured fo­liage year round.

In au­tumn and spring, and even into the sum­mer months, ‘Plum Gor­geous’ has bright dis­plays of vi­brant rasp­berry coloured flow­ers.

Chi­nese fringe flow­ers are low main­te­nance and easy to grow.

They flower best in full sun to part shade and grow in most soil types with added or­ganic mat­ter and good drainage. Once es­tab­lished they are fairly drought tol­er­ant. Mulch the root zone dur­ing the warmer months to help re­tain mois­ture and re­duce weeds.

Prun­ing is gen­er­ally not re­quired, but they can be given a light trim af­ter flow­er­ing to keep them com­pact. Feed with a slow re­lease fer­tiliser early spring. Chi­nese fringe flow­ers are ideal for small gar­dens, pa­tios, con­tain­ers and court­yards.

They can be mass planted to cre­ate in­for­mal hedges, or gar­den edg­ing.

Larger forms make great spec­i­men fea­tures and add an ori­en­tal feel to the gar­den.

Happy gar­den­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.