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STYRAX


617


Strobilanthus


dyeranus PERSIAN SHIELD


Acanthaceae TENDER SHRUB


ZZONES 23, 24; H1, H2; ALSO 16, 17, 19–22 WITH PROTECTION


FP FULL SUN OR PARTIAL SHADE O REGULAR WATER


Styphnolobium


japonicum (Sophora japonica)


JAPANESE PAGODA TREE, CHINESE SCHOLAR TREE


Leguminosae DECIDUOUS TREE


ZZONES 2–24 FP FULL SUN TO PARTIAL SHADE DMODERATE WATER


Styrax Styracaceae


DECIDUOUS TREES AND SHRUBS


ZZONES 4–9, 14–21 FP FULL SUN OR PARTIAL SHADE O REGULAR WATER


green and white tiers. Splendid tree to look up into; plant it in raised beds near outdoor enter- taining area or on high bank above path. ‘Carillon’ (‘Pen- dula’) is a shrubby variety with weeping branches. ‘Pink Chimes’, also shrubby, is a more upright form with pink fl owers. ‘Snow Charm’ has larger leaves and a dependably rounded form, to 20 ft. tall and wide. ‘Snowcone’ forms a dense, broad pyramid 25 ft. tall and 20 ft. wide. S. obassia. FRAGRANT


Styrax offi cinalis Strobilanthus dyeranus


Native to Burma, this beautiful foliage plant will overwinter in mostly frost-free areas but can be used as an annual almost anywhere. Grows to 4 ft. tall and 3 ft. wide; soft stems more like a perennial than a shrub. Broadly oval, pointed leaves are 6–8 in. long, somewhat puck- ered, dark green but richly varie- gated with purple and silvery blue tints. Leaf undersides are bright purple. Pale violet, tubu- lar fl owers come in summer in 1–11⁄2-in. spikes less showy than the foliage. Needs rich soil. Becomes straggly with age; pinch regularly, replace, or start over from cuttings. May survive temperatures slightly below freezing if heavily mulched in late fall; or grow in containers and move to shelter in winter. Can be overwintered indoors in a sunny window.


Use Persian shield in beds beside silvery Artemisia ‘Powis Castle’. Or combine it in a brown con- tainer with purple- fl owered angelonias and chartreuse ‘Angelina’ sedum.


Styphnolobium japonicum


Beautiful fl owering tree native to China and Korea. Grows at a moderate rate to 50–70 ft. tall and about as wide. Young wood is smooth, dark gray-green; old branches and trunk gradually take on a rugged look, with rough, deeply furrowed bark. Dark green leaves are divided into leafl ets. Undistinguished yellow fall color. Long (to 1 ft.), open clusters of 1⁄2-in., yellow- ish white fl owers in summer; 2–31⁄2-in. pods. ‘Regent’ is an exceptionally vigorous and uni- form grower. ‘Pendula’, to about 10 ft. tall and wide, has long, dangling, sometimes twisted branches; it rarely blooms. This species is one of the best trees for shading a lawn or patio, though stains from fl ow- ers and pods may be a problem on paved surfaces. Good for the Rocky Mountain area, though it is subject to damage from ice storms there. Blooms best in long, hot summers; fl owers are unreliable where summers are cold and damp. Resistant to oak root fungus.


for other trees that will pro- vide shade, see pages 91–92.


These plants deserve to be bet- ter known for their subtly attrac- tive springtime show of white, bell-shaped fl owers in hanging clusters. Blossoms are fragrant (only faintly so in S. japonicus). Nonaggressive roots. S. japonicus. JAPANESE


SNOWDROP TREE, JAPANESE SNOWBELL. Tree. Native to eastern Asia. Grows to 30 ft. tall; often narrower than high in youth, but spreads as wide or wider than tall in maturity. Slen- der, graceful trunk. The branches are often strongly hor- izontal, giving the tree a broad, fl at top. Oval, scallop-edged dark green leaves may turn a good red or yellow in fall. Small clusters of 3⁄4-in.-wide fl owers hang on short side branches; leaves angle upward from branches while fl owers hang down, giving effect of parallel


SNOWBELL. Tree. From eastern Asia. To 20–30 ft. tall and about two-thirds as wide. Oval to round, deep green leaves. Where frosts come very late, leaves may color yellow in fall. Flowers to 1 in. long are carried in drooping, 6–8-in. clusters at branch ends. Good against a background of evergreens, or for height and contrast above a border of rhododendrons and azaleas. S. offi cinalis redivivus. CALIFORNIA SNOWDROP. Zones 6–10, 14–24; best in 14–16, 18– 24. Native to dry, rocky areas of California below 3,000-ft. eleva- tion. Upright deciduous shrub to 6–10 ft. tall and about 6 ft. wide. Rounded to oval, gray-green leaves with fuzzy undersides; turn yellow in fall. Small, waxy, fragrant white fl owers with promi- nent yellow-tipped stamens are held in clusters at branch tips in spring. Useful in native or drought- tolerant gardens.


CARE Provide reasonably good, well- drained, nonalkaline soil. Prune to control shape; tend to be shrubby unless lower side branches are suppressed.


S A White Woodland


For an all-white border in a lightly shaded, wind- protected area, plant a Japanese snowdrop or f ragrant snowbell tree as the centerpiece among white-blooming varieties of azalea, camellia, hydrangea, Pieris, rhododendron, and fl owering currant (Ribes sanguineum). Fill in with bugbane (Actaea), bleeding heart (Dicentra), Solomon’s seal (Polygonatum) and white varieties of astilbe, bell- fl ower (Campanula), and sweet violet (Viola odorata).


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