Heptacodium miconioides – Butterflies enjoy the Jasmine scent of Seven Sons

Attractive to Bees, Butterflies and even Hummingbirds.

Plant’s of Distinction don’t come much more distinct than the Seven Son’s, Heptacodium miconioides – botanical gardens and private estates are preserving the survival of this handsome multi-stemmed tree. Ensuring both visitors and keen gardeners along with butterflies get to enjoy the Jasmine scent of the Seven Sons.

The multi-stemmed tiered branches of Heptacodium miconioides are a fine example, of this unusual, fast-growing bushy tree. In early Autumn the branches are covered with white blossoms that attract butterflies for over a month, starting in September until early October. Once the flowers fade they reveal deep pink calyx that persist well into late autumn.

Leaves that stay glossy green for most of the year turn a gorgeous burnt amber in the Autumn accompanied by pale peeling bark, it is worth considering growing as a multi-stemmed shrub to show off its stems.

Behind our fine example is a Wisteria that clamber onto its shrubby branches to flower in spring, and at its side stands a proud Abutilon vitifolium, who’s lilac flowers also put on a stunning display.

First discovered in 1907 by E.H. Wilson in China. This stunning tree or multi-stemmed shrub stood largely forgotten until the early 1980’s when it was rediscovered by the American Botanical Plant Hunting Expedition.

Seven Sons
As a large multi-stemmed the Seven Sons makes great backdrop to any garden border.
Heptacodium miconioides
Enjoy the Jasmine scent of Seven Sons.
Heptacodium miconioides Seven Sons
Attractive to Bees, Butterflies and even Hummingbirds.
Seven Sons
Commonly referred to as Seven Sons due to the number of single flowers in each cluster.
Enjoy the Jasmine scent of Seven Sons
The deep glossy leaves have the look and texture of an evergreen and yet it is deciduous.
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The stems of this large shrub are light tan and have peeling bark both very attractive through the winter months.
Peeling bark of the Seven Sons
Peeling bark of the Seven Sons.
Grow as a tree or a multi-stemmed shrub
Grow as a tree or a multi-stemmed flowering shrub
A beautiful large shrub that deserves to be planted ornamentally in any Garden.
A beautiful large shrub that deserves to be planted as an ornamental shrub in any Garden.
Seven Sons Pink Calyx
Clearly showing the Seven Sons Pink Calyx that follow the flowers.
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The heavy laden branches arch under the weight of the jasmine scented flowers.
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Seven flowers on each clusters giving it’s unusual common name.

 

Recently introduced as an ornamental tree or shrub in botanical collections throughout the World, this beautiful multi-stemmed shrub or small tree is not bothered by pests or diseases!

H. miconioides is considered rare in China, with very few growing wild but thanks to the Botanical expeditions that helps so many genera survive it can now be found thriving as an ornamental in many stately homes and gardens worldwide.

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Stephen Pryce-Lea

Head Gardener and International Horticultural consultant

 

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“It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, when you find it in a Garden it’s like finding Paradise“

iGrowHort – A Head Gardener’s Horticultural Journey of love, life and learning.

 

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About Head Gardener 331 Articles
Award winning, 40 something year old professional plantsman and horticulturalist with National Trust, private parks and estate management background. My vast plant knowledge and hands on techinical experience, afforded me the opportunity to work in various horticultural landscapes, in the UK, USA & Eastern Europe. Having worked in both garden retail & the design service industry gave me the practical diversity and managerial skill set, required for running a large prestigious gardens and stately homes. I strongly believe knowledge is to be shared and have worked closely with people and staff of all ages and abilities keen to develop their passion for gardening, including groups of children, special needs and adults. I have hosted guided walks, talks and tours for those keen to learn about cultivated and wild plants, garden development, history and design. As an member of the NNCPG and National Trust, I am actively involved in the preservation of several important plant collections both in public and private gardens throughout the UK. “It’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion grow together, in a garden it’s paradise” Follow @IGrowHort on GardenTags. Stephen is passionate about gardening as Head Gardener with a team of ten staff he manages a prestigious Cheshire country estate of 55 acres, inc wild flower meadows, woodland, organic kitchen and formal gardens. Follow Stephen today”

46 Comments

    • I agree, we take for granted the work that plant hunters have done and continue to do behind the scenes to help conserve rare and unusual plants, trees and shrubs. Thanks Stephen

    • Considered rare this species is threatened by habitat loss, and only nine groups are known to exist in the wild, all of them in Anhui and Zhejiang provinces. The species is under second class national protection in China. However, the plant is also widely grown as an ornamental around the world, so you are more likely to see it in a botanical collection than in the wild.

  1. Hi, such an interesting blog! Thanks for taking time to share your knowledge – I wish I have the green fingers to make plants blossom, but only the hardiest plants ever survive with me – and even then, barely!

    • Thanks Ling, never give up by following a few basic rules you can improve your gardening skills. The biggest mistake is killing plants with kindness, once you understand what they need to survive it is very easy.

  2. The wisteria is the most beautiful plant, always wanted to grow it but does not have strong enough support (trellis) for it. It also stands the test of time – just getting more beautiful and gracious as it ages and grows !

    • I will be featuring Wisteria real soon, if there are others plants you’d like more information on be sure to let me know and I will add them to my growing collection. Thanks Stephen

    • It all ready has a presence in many botanical collections throughout the world and with some research you may be able to track it down. Try searching Plant Finder online for more details of a stockist near you.

    • It might be quite difficult to track down, The Seven Sons shrub is considered a plant of merit and gaining popularity as an ornamental, now almost extinct in the wild Gardens and botanical collections are becoming it’s saviour. I am going to try and propagate some this fall it would be great to help it become more widely known.

    • Some plants are like that it’s not that they have a built in resistance, it is just that they do not have the sap and soft young growth that pest and diseases are attracted to. Thanks for popping in.

  3. I have only heard of Wisteria on “Desperate Housewives” but I have not actually seen one. 🙂 So graceful those leaves and blossoms! – Fred

    • This is a rare shrub and no longer found growing wild there are however many flowering shrubs that may resemble the seven sons to the untrained eye. I would be very interested to see a photograph of the flowering shrubs you mention this way we can establish a proper identification. Thanks Stephen

  4. I bet the flavor of this beautiful shrub is so pleasant and adorable. I also like the fact that this multi-stemmed shrub is not bothered by pests or diseases which is actually great for its maintenance. Would love to have miconioides in my garden, too.

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