Commonly called fragrant sweetbox or fragrant sarcococca, this is a dense, low-growing, sometimes suckering, broadleaf evergreen shrub with a compact habit that typically grows to 3-4' tall and as wide. It features (a) ovate, sharp-pointed, somewhat leathery, glossy deep green, evergreen leaves (to 2 1/2" long), (b) fragrant, unisexual, apetalous, creamy white flowers in tassel-like axillary racemes (females with 3 stigmas located below males with 4-6 stamens) with early spring bloom (March-April), and (c) globular dark red berries (to 1/4" across) which ripen to black. This small shrub is native from central to western China.

 

 Winter hardy to USDA Zones 7-9 where it is best grown in acidic, organically rich, moderately fertile, moist but well-drained soils in part shade to full shade. Best in part shade. Leaves lose luster and may burn in full sun. Best with consistent moisture. Appreciates a good mulch. Propagate by division or seed. Prune in spring after flowering to maintain attractive shape. Consider locating this shrub in areas where the flower fragrance can be appreciated (e.g., near doors, sidewalks or foundations).

 

Plum Delight Loropetalum, also known as Chinese Witchazel, is a fast growing evergreen flowering shrub that becomes smothered in bright fuchsia-pink fringe flowers in spring and sporadically through the year. The flowers contrast beautifully with the evergreen, deep burgundy foliage. Unlike some purple-leaved varieties, Plum Delight retains its leaf coloration on old and new growth. The new growth is almost as vivid as the flower color.

 

Growing naturally to about 5 to 6 feet tall and 6-8 feet wide, or kept smaller with occasional pruning, Plum Delight Loropetalum is an ideal choice as an accent, in groupings or mass plantings, or in straight or staggered rows in home foundation plantings and landscape borders. It's low water needs makes it suitable for use in Xeriscape plantings. The year round deep purple foliage contrasts nicely with plants that have yellow, light green, grey or other light colored foliage or flowers. A fine addition to purple-theme color gardens and large containers with a rim diameter of 16 inches or more.

The stems are sturdy enough to be used as skewers for shish kabob, and while cooking, your grilled items are infused with the particularly appealing rosemary flavor of this variety. Rosemary Barbeque quickly grows to form an upright evergreen plant with aromatic needle-like foliage. It produces clear blue flowers that soon cover the plant and contrast nicely with the dark green foliage. Barbeque is perennial in zones 8 to 11 and can be grown in containers in cooler areas.

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