Seven Sons Flower
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf deciduous shrub or small tree, upright, open, irregular, 15-25 ft (4.5-7.5 m) high, width is somewhat over half its height. Bark showy, thin, pale strips peel back, revealing dark brown bark below. Leaves opposite, simple, 7.5-15 cm long, about 5 cm wide, ovate-lanceolate, acute tip, base is rounded to cordate to truncated, margin is entire and wavy, 3 main veins very prominent, glossy dark green; petiole 2.5 cm long. Flower buds appear in early summer but do not open until after mid- to late-summer, flowers are white, fragrant, and borne in 15 cm long terminal clusters. Fruit is purplish-red, round, about 1 cm, enclosed by sepals that change from green to purplish red.
- Sun or light shade. Easy to grow, not fussy about soil type, but needs regular water.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (4)5 Native to central and eastern China, but apparently it is rather rare and may no longer exist in the wild.
- Heptacodium miconioides was first collected in 1907 by E. H. Wilson during an expedition to China. However, it wasn't until 1916 that a colleague of Wilson's, Alfred Rehder, actually named the specimens. Then for nearly 65 years, Heptacodium miconioides was forgotten. But in 1980, another expedition to China resulted in the collection of viable seeds of this rare genus. Seeds and cuttings were then distributed by the Arnold Arboretum and the U.S. National Arboretum to several botanical institutions and nurseries. Since that time the genus has gradually gained popularity. (from Chicago Botanic Garden, Plant Information).
- miconioides: like the genus Miconia. This genus has become infamous in some regions because of Miconia calvescens (Velvet Tree), which is a fast-growing, weedy tree from South and Central America that is invading Hawaii; on Tahiti it covers more than 60% of the entire island.
- Seven Son Flower: the flowers are in whorls within each branched cluster, with each whorl containing 7 small flowers.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: SE corner of Callahan dorm.
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