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Home > Products > Specialty Crops > Loropetalum

The Loropetalum chinense at San Marcos Growers

We have been growing Loropetalum chinense since 1992. Loropetalum chinense, sometimes called the fringe flower, is a beautiful and versatile shrub long cultivated in Santa Barbara. it is a member of the witch hazel family (Hamameliadaceae) that comes from China and the Himalayas. It is usually seen as a dense rounded shrub that only grows to 3-5 feet tall with arching branches bearing soft 1-2 inch long light green leaves but older specimens can be small trees. The typical form of the species has white flowers, each with 4 narrow petals, clustered at the branch tips. Flowering is heaviest in the spring but sporadic flowers are likely to occur at anytime of the year.

The versatility of Loropetalum is that it can be grown in mild coastal climates in light shade to full sun, yet it can also tolerate the cooler winter temperatures and heat associated with other regions. A primary difference in the plants grown in these extremes is whether the plant remains evergreen or not. Here in coastal California, it is evergreen and older specimens can be found that have obtained a height of 15 feet; more a small tree than a shrub. In colder climates (Zone 7 USDA and below) one can at best expect Loropetalum to be a deciduous shrub. Plant in neutral to slightly acidic soil and irrigate occasionally - plants prefer it moist but not wet.

The white fringe flower has always been an underused plant but with the recent introduction of new red and pink flowering forms (Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum cultivars), the popularity of the entire genus is assured. A measure of this new status is that one can now buy Loropetalum at Home Depot and other mass merchandisers. These new cultivars have emerged on the market so rapidly since their initial introduction to the United States that adequate descriptive data and cultural information is severely lacking. In addition, and much to the disservice to the retail consumer, these plants are being marketed in areas where they are not likely to thrive.

How hardy are these plants?
This is still under debate but Hortus, the encyclopedia of horticultural knowledge in the United States lists hardiness to between 10-20 degrees F and the Royal Horticulture Encyclopedia of Plants states the same. This information is contradicted however by data from a test garden in Georgia that recorded 4 degrees F without damage to Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum cultivars and laboratory tests have run these plants down to 0 degrees F. Generally it is thought that Loropetalum can be planted as far north as Virginia in the eastern states and is hardy throughout the western states all along the coast. It is reported that Loropetalum can be safely brought through winter in a unheated cold frame in New York City.

That these plants are heat tolerant is also indicated by the wide area of the southeast US where these plans grow and also by the high rating of 9 given for cultivars that corresponds to the American Horticultural Society's (AHS) Plant Heat-Zone Map. This rating indicates that Loropetalum tolerates 121 to 150 days of temperatures over 86° F.

The Loropetalum we currently grow or have grown:
Phlomis we currently grow
now showing 1 - 6 of 6 Search String: Lorop << back | next >>
Loropetalum chinense Fringe Flower - Evergreen shrub 4-8' tall by 6-8' wide. Dark green leaves. White flowers in spring. Cool sun/part shade. Occasional watering. Hardy to 10-15 F. 
Loropetalum chinense Ruby Snow Ruby Snow Fringe Flower - Evergreen shrub 5-6' tall & wide w/burgundy lvs & spring white flowers. Cool sun/part shade. Occasional watering. Hardy to 10-15 F. PP25,832 
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Blush' Red Fringe Flower - Evergreen upright shrub reaching 8-12' tall by 6' wide. Rose pink flowers in spring. Full sun/part shade. Occasional watering. Hardy to 10-15 F. 
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Burgundy' Red Fringe Flower - Evergreen shrub reaching 6-10' tall by 6-10' wide. Rose pink flowers in spring, sporadic.Full sun/part shade. Occasional watering. Hardy to 10-15 F. 
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Hines Purple Leaf' Red Fringe Flower - Evergreen shrub. Burgundy red foliage. Fuchsia pink flowers in spring. Full sun/part shade. Occasional watering. Hardy to 10-15 F. 
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum 'Purple Majesty' Red Fringe Flower - Evergreen shrub 6-8 ft. tall. Bright, fuchsia fringe flowers that bloom year round. Cool sun/part shade. Occasional watering. Hardy to 10-15 F. 
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