Native to China and Japan. Large, rounded, evergreen shrub to 8 15 ft. tall and wide. Neat, compact habit, with tiers of arching or drooping branches. Roundish, light green leaves are 12 in. long; creamy white flowers consisting of four narrow, twisted, inch-long petals appear in clusters at the end of branch tips in late winter and early spring. Sporadic flower- ing may occur in fall. L. c. rubrum has pink flowers and purple-bronze foliage. Good in corner and understory plantings, as a screen, sheared formal hedge, in mixed shrub borders, as a single specimen or espalier. You can also prune away lower branches to make a nice small tree. Deer resistant.
Recently introduced burgundy- leafed, pink-flowered selections of L. c. rubrum have taken garden centers by storm; they now share center stage with blue rug junipers (Juniperus horizontalis 'Wiltonii') and golden euonymus. To the untrained eye, most are identical and interchangeable. Use them judiciouslytoo much burgundy is not a good thing.
Selections include the following.
'Burgundy'. Reddish purple new foliage matures to purple-green. Very fast grower; young plants grow flat like cotoneasters the first year, then quickly shoot upward. Deep pink flowers. Grows 10 ft. tall and wide.
'Carolina Moonlight'. Olive-green foliage and white flowers. Compact, 34 ft. tall and 45 ft. wide.
'Emerald Snow'. Lime-green foliage and white flowers. Compact, 34 ft. tall and wide.
'Ever Red'. Darkest burgundy foliage. Bright red flowers. Grows 6 ft. tall and wide.
'Fire Dance'. Ruby-red new leaves mature to reddish purple. Deep pink flowers. Grows 810 ft. tall and wide.
'Purple Diamond'. Rich, deep purple leaves all year. Magenta-pink flowers. Grows 45 ft. tall and wide.
'Purple Pixie'. Purple foliage on a weeping, spreading plant 12 ft. high and 45 ft. wide. Pink flowers. Useful ground cover or purple accent in pots, hanging baskets, and window boxes. May drop leaves in cold winters.
'Razzleberri'. Originally named 'Blush'. Leaves emerge bronze- red and age to olive-green. Fuchsia-pink flowers. Grows 10 ft. tall and wide.
'Ruby'. Compact grower to just 45 ft. tall and wide. Deep red leaves; bright pink flowers.
'Sizzling Pink'. Similar to 'Burgundy' but with a growth habit that is more horizontal. Grows 46 ft. tall and wide.
'Suzanne'. Compact, rounded shrub to 34 ft. tall and wide. Small, rounded, reddish maroon leaves. Pink flowers.
'Zhuzhou' ('Zhuzhou Fuchsia'). Upright, fast-growing plant with deep pink flowers. Narrow, elliptical leaves are nearly black. Grows 15 ft. tall and wide. Good selection as a small tree to shape.
This tough, pest-free plant tolerates heat and drought. Give it acid or neutral, well-drained soil; tends to suffer from chlorosis (yellow leaves with green veins) in alkaline soil. Once established, it grows fast; a transplant from a 1-gallon can will easily grow to 6 ft. in three years.