Content Detail

Chinese leptodermis is a tidy, dwarf, 1 to 2 foot high, mounding shrub used at the front of the border or in a rock garden. The showy clusters of violet tubular flowers are fragrant and bloom late spring and intermittent into fall. May be difficult to find in nurseries.

  • Family (English) Madder
  • Family (botanic) Rubiaceae
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Medium plant (12-24 inches), Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7
  • Soil preference Alkaline soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, Occasional drought
  • Season of interest late spring, early summer, midsummer, late summer
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, Purple
  • Shape or form Mounded
  • Growth rate Slow

Size & Form:

A low mounded shrub, Chinese leptodermis reaches 1 to 2 feet high.

Native geographic location and habitat:

Native to northern China.

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife:

Flowers attract butterflies and bees.

Bark color and texture :

Thin bark is tannish-brown.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture:

Alternate, glassy, ovate to oblong 3/4 inch long leaves that are a medium green, with yellow fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Fragrant, violet tubular flowers at the tips of branches. Grows on new wood.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Fruit is an Insignificant dry seed capsule.

Plant care:

Chinese leptodermis is pH soil adaptable and does best in full sun to part shade in well drained soil. It needs supplemental water in dry periods. Slow to break dormancy in the spring, so wait for new growth before removing dead stems

List of pests, diseases, tolerances and resistance:

No serious insects or diseases. It is deer resistant.


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