Native to thickets and forests of eastern China at elevations between 656-6562 feet, this broadleaf evergreen to deciduous shrub is a member of the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, that also includes weigela, pincushion flower and teasel. The plant grows 6-13′ tall and and may have hairy branches. The matte green leaves are ovate, up to 1.5″ long and have pointed tips. From summer to early fall, trumpet-shaped flowers appear singly on new growth. Each flower is up to 1″ long and has white to pink-purple petals and a bearded throat carrying yellow markings. Reddish sepals surround the petals and persist after the petals have dropped. A. uniflora is rarely cultivated in the West anymore but is significant because it was one of the parents ( along with A. chinensis) of the hybrids Abelia x grandiflora. The genus name, Abelia, honors Dr. Clarke Abel (17801826), English naturalist and physician who was part of a British delegation to the emperor of China in 1816. The specific epithet, uniflora, comes from the Latin words unus, meaning one, and flos, meaning flower, and refers to the fact that the flowers are borne singly rather than in clusters.

Type: Flowering broadleaf evergreen to deciduous shrub

Outstanding Feature: Parent, along with A. chinensis, of Abelia x grandiflora

Form: Mound

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Trumpet-shaped flowers with white to pink-purple petals and a bearded throat carrying yellow markings, from summer to early fall

Size: 6-23′ H

Light: Full sun for best leaf color and density, and bloom

Soil: Fertile, consistently moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones 6-9

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed, cuttings in summer or fall

Outstanding Selections: Many hybrids resulting from cross with A. chinensis

Photo Credit: Wikispeices

By Karen