Content Detail

Stephanandra is a small to medium-sized shrub forming large thickets.This graceful shrub has long arching stems and is often grown for the maple-like leaves which turn a stunning orange-red fall color. Very nice for woodland gardens and mixed borders.

  • Family (English) Rosaceae
  • Family (botanic) Rose
  • Tree or plant type Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Small shrub (3-5 feet), Medium shrub (5-8 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 Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances clay soil, Occasional flooding
  • Season of interest mid spring, early fall
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Arching, Mounded, Thicket-forming
  • Growth rate Fast

Size and Form:

Arching long stems form a dense, thicket-forming shrub reaching 4 to 7 feet high and wide.

Native geographic location and habitat:

This is native to Japan and Korea. It grows on mountain slopes or by stream banks.

Bark color and texture:

The bark is medium brown.

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

The alternate, 1 to 2 inch long maple-like leaves have toothed, wavy margins. New leaves emerge with a reddish tinge, changing to bright green. Leaves change a reddish-purple to red-orange in the fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

Small, star-shaped, white flowers are borne in clusters at tips of the branches.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

The fruit is a follicle. It is not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Does best in loose, well-drained soils that have been supplemented with organic matter. It needs supplemental watering in dry periods. Prune after flowering by cutting back shoots to strong buds. On older, overgrown plants, cut one-third of the oldest stems to the ground. Stems root wherever they touch the ground, so separate them in autumn, winter, or early spring to make new plants.

List of pests, diseases and tolerances:

No serious diseases or problems.

Crispa Cutleaf Stephanandra (Stephanandra incisa ‘Crispa’):

A low-growing, densely branched, deciduous shrub which typically grows 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. Small, maple-like leaves unfold reddish-bronze turning green for summer. Use as a ground cover, low hedge, or foundation plant. Also effective for erosion control on banks and slopes.


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