Chionanthus retusus ‘China Snow’, a heavy flowering selection of Chinese fringe tree has been stunning for several weeks in the gardens at JLBG. This amazing Don Shadow selection is far more floriferous than the species, which was already quite spectacular.
Oh my goodness, how terrible these wonderful plants are treated by the hedge-clipper wielding masochistic masses! These amazing plants are large shrubs/small trees…not foundation shrubs…geez! We currently grow 27 cultivars, and need to replace three that we managed to kill. Purportedly some of these newer selections actually stay more compact, but that remains to be seen in our in-ground trials. Here are a few of our older specimens along with their actual measured size.
Loropetalum chinense ‘Crimson Fire’ (advertised as growing 4′ tall x 4-5′ wide) measures 6′ tall x 8′ wide after only 4 years. Growth rate is increasing and it looks like it should reach a mature size of 24′ tall x 32′ wide.
Loropetalum chinense ‘Pippa’s Red’ (below) has reached 35′ tall x 20′ wide in 20 years.
The bicolor, genetically unstable Loropetalum ‘Ruby Snow’ (advertised as growing 6′ tall x 6′ wide) is 6′ tall x 8′ wide after 4 years, so mature size will probably be 24′ tall x 32′ wide. The dueling colors create an amazing effect.
Loropetalum ‘Shang-hi’ (below), marketed as Purple Diamond, has reached 12′ tall x 16′ wide in twelve years, and the growth rate appears to be slowing.
Loropetalum ‘Snow Panda’ (below) is 7′ tall x 10′ wide after 5 years. The original plant, introduced by the US National Arboretum is 10′ tall x 8.5′ wide after fifteen years. It’s odd that our plant is growing so differently here.
Loropetalum chinense ‘Zuzhou’ (below) is our oldest remaining loropetalum at 26 years. Mature size is now 20′ tall x 24′ wide. We had older specimens of the original US National Arboretum introductions ‘Blush’ and ‘Burgundy’, but these were discarded to make room for more improved selections.
Please consider buying a tape measure to help get this sited so that they never need to meet a pair of mutilators (i.e. hedge trimmers) in person.