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Botanical Name: Heptacodium miconioides
Common Name: Seven-son Flower
Notable Feature: Winter interest, almost creamy white to light tan bark that exfoliates in long strips revealing a chalky white inner bark.
Habit: A deciduous, small tree or large shrub, reaching 15 to 20 feet in height; multistemmed, open, and upright spreading to around 10 feet wide.
Flower: ln late summer, creamy white, jasmine-like blossoms appear in 6-inch long whorls at the branch tips. Each whorl contains 7 tiny flowers (hence the common name of Seven-son Flower). The blooms are sweetly fragrant and persist for several weeks.
Fruit: In fall, the flowers develop small, inconspicuous fruits surrounded by a calyx that turns bright cherry red, an eye-catching display lasting several weeks.
Foliage: Narrow, shiny, oval to oblong in shape, 3 to 6” long and medium green. Fall leaf color is not memorable, sometimes turning a yellow to yellowish tan.
Interesting Fact: Although this tree was first collected in 1907 by E. H. Wilson during an expedition to China, it remained unrecognized for 70 some years. In 1980, another expedition to China resulted in the collection of viable seeds of this rare genus. Since that time this unique plant has gradually gained in popularity.