In very early spring, Abeliophyllum distichum ‘Rosea’ provides a pale pink alternative to the bright yellows and golds of the more commonly seen Forsythia shrubs that bloom at the same time. Not fussy as to soils (as long as they are not bone dry) or aspect (full sun to partial shade) and completely hardy in the Chicago area, this 4’ to 6’ sized fragrant deciduous shrub is a wonderful compliment to the early spring bulbs that bloom at the same time. Best grown as an open arching shrub in the landscape because annual pruning to maintain a symmetrical shape will remove too many flower buds (produced on stems from the previous year). Planting this shrub in the forefront of an evergreen hedge or a dark colored wall will provide the contrast needed to appreciate the delicate colored flowers. Mature plants will benefit from renewal pruning - the removal of no more than one-third of the stems annually to encourage the type of growth that produces the maximum number of flowers.
This native of Korean is represented by a single species, a condition that is referred to as monotypic in the scientific jargon. The species is critically endangered in its native range but has not been officially added to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. Within cultivation, it can be found in many northern temperate zone gardens but is relatively uncommon because the shrub lacks ornamental summer, fall and winter characteristics.
Screen/Hedge, Specimen Plant