Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous
Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade
Water Use: medium
Soil Moisture: moist, wet
Soil Description: acid, average, loam, sand
Bloom Time: May, June
Bloom Color: white
Leaf Color: gray-green, silver
Hardiness Zone: 6, 7, 8, 9
Additional Tags: bog plant, clumping, fall interest, fragrant flowers, hedging plant, naturalizing, ornamental foliage, pond margin plant, semi-deciduous, stream margin plant, swamp plant
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Zenobia pulverulentaAlso known as:
Topping out at about 6' tall, and with a similar diameter, Zenobia pulverulenta is a delightful shrub for small spaces. It provides visual interest throughout the seasons, beginning with the gray-green foliage that earned the species the common name 'dusty Zenobia'. The shrub is deciduous in the north, to semi-evergreen in the south. It is multi-stemmed, with elegant arching branches and an open, rounded form. In mid, to late spring, it produces terminal clusters of fragrant, white bell-shaped flowers. The leaves are oval to elliptical, and put on a spectacular fall show, when their color shifts to various shades of yellow, orange, red, and purple. The shrub's reddish, exfoliating bark provides strong visual interest through the winter months.
Native to a limited range from northeastern Georgia to southeastern Virginia, Zenobia pulverulenta is found growing in boggy environments throughout the coastal plains. Although adapted to having 'wet feet', it is remarkably easy to grow in average, moist to dry garden conditions. It is tolerant of part-shade and filtered light, but will produce better fall colors when planted in full sun. Ideal for small spaces, its suckering habit makes it also a good choice for low hedgerows, or mass plantings where it will have a chance to naturalize. Its native range is limited to zone 8, but can be grown successfully from zone 6 to 9.
Easy to propagate by layering, in early spring. May be propagated by softwood cuttings in early summer. Seeds should be sown shallowly. Germination rates will be improved following an 8 week period of cold stratification.
Honeycup flowers are similar in appearance to those of lilly-of-the-valley, but larger and with an anise fragrance.
Native Range & Classification
Recorded County Distribution: USDA data
GA, NC, SC, VA