Seven-son flower (Heptacodium miconioides) is really more of a shrub than ornamental tree. It flowers when little else is blooming in late fall. After the flowers fade, the sepals encircling the flowers change to rosy-purple for a second display of color, which lasts a few more weeks. These appear to be flowers, giving this curious plant the appearance of blooming twice.
During winter, the bark of seven-son flower is also attractive, with long strips of brownish gray peeling away to reveal a bleached, sandy, smooth stem. Multiple stemmed and fast-growing, this plant can be trained to a single-stemmed small tree. Native to China, seven-son flower was introduced into the United States in 1907 and then again in 1980, rediscovered by the Arnold Arboretum and distributed to several botanic gardens, including the Chicago Botanic Garden. It is an unusual late-summer standout.
Seven-son flower can reach as much as 20 feet in height. It has a loose, open habit, along with a handsome, strongly three-veined leaf. Use it in a shrub border as a background plant. This honeysuckle relative begins flowering in late summer to early autumn.
Screen/Hedge, Specimen Plant