R. serotinum

Here’s a plant that has had a rough past. Called “scraggly” from inferior garden specimens, the “real” R. serotinum was introduced in the late ’90s from China and North Vietnam, and it’s a plant with ATTITUDE. White flowers appear in late summer and fill the garden with sweet FRAGRANCE. The wavy margins and the bluish cast of the leaves make it the more interesting. Truly a fine new introduction that may be closely related to R. decorum.

This is a plant that will grow taller than wide. It will reach six feet or more in ten years and could make a excellent small tree. A mix of shade and sun is just right. Add gentle, consistent watering and a bit of fertilizer on Valentine’s Day and Mothers’ Day, and it will come up a winner for you. Good drainage adds the finishing touch.