April 23, 2017

Just Call it Furin-tsutsuji

Enkianthus campanulata - redvein enkianthus

Janine Pineo Photo | Enkianthus campanulata – redvein enkianthus

Enkianthus campanulata - redvein enkianthus

Janine Pineo Photo | Enkianthus campanulata – redvein enkianthus

Enkianthus campanulata is an often overlooked shrub that is hardy to Zone 4 and performs best in partial shade conditions. An excellent specimen at the Asticou Azalea Gardens on Mount Desert Island inspired the purchase of the shrub pictured, which is now about 12 feet tall and puts on a show every spring and fall. Also known as redvein enkianthus, this member of the heath family sports clusters of bell-shaped blossoms in spring that are edged in pink and also have pink stripes. They are subtle not showy blooms, yet they do not escape the vigorous attention of pollinators. On a fine spring day, the bush hums with the buzzing of insects. Enkianthus puts on a second show when the leaves change color in autumn. The orange-red glow is usually more prominent, but it can have its share of darker red foliage. As for the title of this piece, it would seem, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden, that its other common name is furin-tsutsuji. We did say it was from Japan, didn’t we?

Enkianthus campanulata - redvein enkianthus

Janine Pineo Photo | Enkianthus campanulata – redvein enkianthus – lighter yellow-orange-red autumn color

Enkianthus campanulata - redvein enkianthus

Janine Pineo Photo | Enkianthus campanulata – redvein enkianthus – darker red leaves in autumn