Illinois' Best

Heptacodium miconioides

An unusual late-summer standout

Seven-son flower, native to China, was introduced into the U.S. in 1907 and then again in 1980, rediscovered by the Arnold Arboretum and distributed to several botanic gardens including the Chicago Botanic Garden. Growing 15' to perhaps 20' in height, it has a loose, open habit, along with a handsome, strongly three-veined leaf. This honeysuckle relative has clusters of fragrant, creamy-white flowers in late summer when little else is blooming. After the flowers fade, the sepals encircling the flowers change to rosy-purple, lasting for a few weeks. These appear to be flowers, giving this curious plant the appearance of blooming twice. During winter, the bark is attractive with long strips of brownish-gray peeling away to reveal a bleached, sandy, smooth stem. Multiple stemmed and fast-growing, this plant can be trained to a single-stemmed tree. Use it in a shrub border as a background plant. 

Heptacodium miconioides
Seven-son flower
Family: Honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae)
Type: Deciduous tree/shrub

Mature Size:
15-25 feet

  Flower Color:
  Bloom Season:
  Soil Moisture:
Winter Interest
  Landscape Use:
bedding or border
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With the support of the North Suburban Library System and the Illinois State Library,
funded by the Library Services and Technology Act, 1998.