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Plant Profile: Jetbead (Rhodotypos scandens)

Jetbead is a mounding deciduous shrub growing 3-6’ tall and is native to Japan and central China. It was introduced into the US in 1866 as an ornamental and has become invasive from New England to Wisconsin, south to South Carolina and Alabama, where it creates a dense shrub layer in forested areas, displacing native vegetation. Jetbead is a member of the rose family, Rosaceaea, that also includes cherry, lady’s mantle, and pyracantha. The medium green leaves are bright green , have prominent veins, and densely cover the plant but have unremarkable fall color. The 2” wide 4-petaled white flowers appear in late spring and give way to glossy black fruits that persist into winter. The shrub has limited ornamental value but is easy to grow, tolerates full sun to full shade and a wide range of soil conditions, and can be sheared or heavily pruned. The generic name Rhodotypos comes from the Greek words rhodon meaning rose and typos meaning type. The specific epithet scandens comes from the Latin word scando meaning climb.

Type: Deciduous shrub

Outstanding Feature: Dense foliage

Form: Mounding, spreading with age

Growth Rate: Medium

Bloom: Two inch wide 4-petaled white flowers in late spring

Size: 3-6’ H x 4-9’ W

Light: Full sun to full shade

Soil: Average medium moist, well-drained

Hardiness: Zones4-8

Care: Low maintenance

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed