Content Detail

Seven-son flower, which is really a large shrub or small tree, produces white flowers in late summer. After the petals fall, the pink sepals remain giving the appearance that the plant is in flower again. The whitish-tan bark peels in strips and is striking against a dark background. Use as a specimen plant, at the back of the border, or in a naturalized area.

  • Family (English) Honeysuckle
  • Family (botanic) Caprifoliaceae
  • Tree or plant type Tree, Shrub
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Non-native
  • Size range Large shrub (more than 8 feet), Compact tree (10-15 feet), Small tree (15-25 feet)
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 5 (Northern Illinois), Zone 6 (City of Chicago), Zone 7, Zone 8
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Alkaline soil, clay soil, Dry sites
  • Season of interest early winter, midwinter, late summer, early fall, mid fall, late fall
  • Flower color and fragrance Fragrant, White
  • Shape or form Irregular, Upright
  • Growth rate Fast, Moderate

Size and Form:

Seven-son flower grows 15 to 20 feet high and 8 to 12 feet wide with an upright form.

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to China.

Bark color and texture: 

Bark is light tan with a lighter colored inner bark. The outer bark exfoliates (peels) into long strips exposing the inner bark.

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

Simple, opposite leaves are 3 to 6 inches long. The leaf margin is entire and slightly wavy. Dark green from early spring into late fall, there is little to no fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size: 

Small, white  flowers late in season (September) are in clusters of  seven with several flower clusters grouped together. When the flower petals drop in October, the long-lasting sepals turn an attractive, bright, rosy-pink color, making the plant appear to flower a second time.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions:

Small dry capsules, hidden among the pink sepals are not ornamentally important.

Plant care:

Prune late fall through very early spring as flower buds are formed in the spring.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances:

No serious problems.


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