Also known as Korean abelia in honor of its place of origin, this deciduous shrub is a member of the honeysuckle family, Caprifoliaceae, that also includes weigela, pincushion flower and teasel. The plant grows 4-6′ tall and has arching stems with ovate leaves that are bright glossy green before turning orange to burgundy in the fall. Pink buds open to white trumpet-shaped flowers in the spring and continue to bloom into early summer. The flowers are very fragrant and attractive to butterflies. Fragrant abelia is valued for use as a hedge, foundation planting, garden border or specimen plant and is a good choice for fragrance, butterfly, and pollinator gardens. 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, mosanensis, comes from Mosan, a region of North Korea where the plant is found.

Type: Flowering deciduous shrub

Outstanding Feature: Fragrant flowers; fall coloration

Form: Rounded, vase

Growth Rate: Moderate

Bloom: Trumpet-shaped flowers from pink buds from spring to early summer

Size: 4-6′ H x 4-6′ W

Light: Full sun for best bloom and leaf color

Soil: Average, consistently moist, well-drained, acidic

Hardiness: Zones 4-8; does poorly in heat and humidity of zones 7-9

Care: Prune immediately after flowering if needed; cut back hard to revigorate.

Pests and Diseases: Generally healthy but can be damaged by aphids, anthracnose, and powdery mildew.

Propagation: Cuttings

Outstanding Selections:

‘SMNAMDS’ ,usually sold as SWEET EMOTION, (superior flowering and neat habit)

‘Korean Spring’

Photo Credit: Michael Wolf Wikimedia Commons

By Karen