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Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud'

Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud'



About this cultivar:

Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Pink Cloud' was raised at RHS Wisley in 1946 and, compared to the species, has deeper pink flowers. It is so floriferous the branches are often weighed down, gracefully, by the display.

The species, Kolkwitzia amabilis, is a deciduous shrub often known by the common name ‘Beauty Bush’. I mean, I say species but amabilis is the only species in the genus Kolkwitzia. So what is it? a genus or species?

In any case the beauty bush originates in Central China, where it has been 'discovered' twice; once by the Jesuit missionary Giuseppe Giraldi, and then by the British explorer and plant collector E.H. Wilson. Wilson sent plant material to his sponsors Veitch Nurseries in Exeter in 1901, where the shrub flowered for the first time in 1910. The species (genus?) was first described by Paul Graebner and placed in his new genus Kolkwitzia, whose name honours Richard Kolkwitz, a professor of botany in Berlin. The specific epithet amabilis means ‘lovely’.

The genus (species?) is an arching, spreading shrub, with light brown flaky bark and graceful arching branches. It is usually as wide as it is tall. In spring its flowers, are long and bell-shaped (tubular campanulate); they grow in pairs, and form showy, numerous sprays along ripened wood. Its leaves are opposite, simple, and ovate.

In the garden it is a great performer almost anywhere, to the extent it can be a bit too rampant. Maybe a better name than 'Beauty Bush' is 'Beauty Beast'. We have dug ours out twice, so be warned. However, we miss the flowers so have replanted it twice! Grow as a specimen plant or a in a hedge (where is will be managed anyway) I say. Maybe you can be more creative. Try the genus Abelia if you want something similar but smaller.

Has the RHS Award of Garden Merit.

  • Position: Full sun, partial shade (better in full sun)
  • Soil: Almost any soil - Grows well in Ballyrobert
  • Flowers: May, June
  • Other features: Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit (RHS AGM), Bees, Butterflies, and Bugs
  • Hardiness: Fully Hardy - Grows well in Ballyrobert, H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15°C)
  • Habit: Bushy
  • Foliage: Deciduous
  • Height: 150 to 250 cm  ( 5 - 9 ft)
  • Spread: 150 to 250 cm  ( 5 - 9 ft)
  • Time to full growth: 10 to 20 years
  • Plant type: Herbaceous Perennial, Shrub
  • Colour: Pink, white, green
  • Goes well with: Wall, Fence

About this genus:

Hmmmm, hate to say it but even more Kolkwitzia kolmplications......

It has been suggested that Kolkwitzia, along with the genera Abelia, Diabelia, Dipelta and Vesalea, be merged into an expanded genus Linnaea. So, perhaps this should be about Linnea?

In any case since the species = genus, I kinda have explained all you need to know about this plant.

I'm lazy, I know, deal with it.

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