Gardening

Heptacodium Miconioides, Seven Son: Wonderful, Small, White, Fragrant Flowers

Heptacodium Miconioides, Seven Son: Wonderful, Small, White, Fragrant Flowers

Heptacodium Miconioides

Photo Compliments of Wendy Cutler

Heptacodium miconioides or commonly referred to as seven son flower is a wonderful deciduous shrub with distinct three veined leaves that are retained into early winter. The small, white, fragrant flowers are followed by showy bright red calyx in fall. When you include the unusual peeling bark you have a plant that is appealing in all four seasons.

This is essentially a large, fountain-shaped, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub that typically grows 15 to 20 feet at maturity with a 10 foot spread (select your site for this plant carefully). You can also shape this plant into a single-trunk tree. Terminal clusters of fragrant, creamy-white flowers begin to appear in late summer and continue to early fall. Within each whorl are 7 tiny flowers (hence the common name of seven son flower). Flowers are followed in fall by an equally showy (if not showier) display: small, purplish-red fruits (1/2 inch long drupes) crowned by five very showy, sepal-like rose calyces which elongate after bloom and last into late fall.  You will come to really appreciate the tan bark that exfoliates revealing attractive brown inner bark, which provides outstanding winter interest.

Leaves are narrow, shiny, ovate-oblong, and are medium-green in color.  Heptacodium miconioides is rapidly increasing in popularity as an ornamental shrub. As an added bonus if your goal is to attract butterflies the plant is a good source of nectar.

How To Make Your Heptacodium Miconioides Thrive

The seven sons shrub thrives in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun; it will tolerate wide range of soil types. To get the best results you need to follow a regular watering schedule during the first growing season to establish a deep, extensive, root system. Watering can be reduced after it has become establish.  You should feed with a general purpose fertilizer before new growth begins in spring.

General Heptacodium Miconioides Information

Pests And Disease

There are no serious insect or disease problems.

Propagation

It produces suckers, which can be propagated. Heptacodium miconioides will also root from hardwood cuttings taken in autumn.

Garden Uses

Seven son flower is a somewhat rare and unique plant with year-round interest. It can be useful in both a shrub border or woodland garden. It is excellent as a lawn specimen, or as an accent around the home. This is a perfect large shrub for background planting with a seasonal color display.  It can be effectively used along foundation walls, or fence lines. It makes a good windbreak hedg,e or component for shelter-belts. You can add it to the back of a mixed shrub border to screen off adjacent land uses.

Quick Facts

  • Family: Caprifoliaceae (related to cape honeysuckle, viburnum shrubs, and the common elderberry)
  • Key Feature: Year-round interest
  • Plant Type: Large multi – stemmed shrub or tree
  • Deciduous/Evergreen: Deciduous
  • Hardiness Zones: Zones 5 to 9
  • Light Needs: Partial to full sun
  • Water Needs: Needs regular watering, more often in extreme heat
  • Height: 15 to 20 feet
  • Spread: 8 to 10 feet
  • Growth Rate: Fast
  • Flower Attributes: Fragrant, showy flowers on 6 inch panicles
  • Flower Color: White
  • Blooms: August to September
  • Fruit: Sepals change color from green to burgundy and last up to 3 weeks
  • Leaves: Simple and opposite, 2 inches to 6 inches in length
  • Foliage Color: Green
  • Bark: Exfoliating tan bark that comes off in strips and is reminiscent of crape myrtle or beautybush
  • Special Features: Attracts butterflies, fall color, year-round interest

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6 Comments

  1. I have been looking around your blog…very nice one I must say. You have some gorgeous plants. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. It was much apprecitated.
    Mags Corner recently posted..I’ve Waited All SummerMy Profile

  2. This is one of my favorite late blooomers and winter interest. Great peely bark and fragrant flowers.

  3. I’ve been looking for a Heptacodium for year now. Do you perchance know where I can find one w/i 100 miles of Tacoma?

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