Beathtaking beauty – Seven son flower tree

Heptacodium at LVWN (5)

This was the sight that took my breath away last week as I drove by the fields of Little Valley Wholesale Nursery in Brighton CO. Our Propagation Committee was meeting there to discuss potential shrubs and trees to be included in the program, and wow! were we impressed.

One reason we met there is because Little Valley is part of the multi-site field trials being conducted by Colorado State University graduate students Eric Hammond and Rob MacDonald under the supervision of Dr. James E. Klett. Since 2002, a variety of potential Plant Select® recommendations and introductions have been tested in five field sites around the state of Colorado. Eric is currently evaluating the plants that have been in the ground (some for up to seven years), and will be writing up reports for upcoming professional publications. The sites offer many different cultural and climatic conditions – from the banana-belt Orchard Mesa site near Grand Junction, down to Harding Nursery’s fields in Colorado Springs, and up to the hail-attacked CSU site just north of Fort Collins.

Heptacodium at LVWN (6)

But these trees! Planted in 2003, these magnificent specimens of Heptacodium miconoides (Seven Son flower) made us all gasp in amazement… they were loaded with flowers, and the fragrance could be sensed from all around us. Here it was early September in Colorado when most trees are thinking about turning fall colors, and these were in their full reproductive beauty. And the bees – everywhere! Buzzing, pollinating, busy, busy! The flower petals will eventually drop and the remaining bracts actually turn a pinkish-red. Not only are they stunning this time of year, they also have incredibly gorgeous bark – truly amazingly beautiful in all seasons. One of the attendees, Tom Carter with Alameda Wholesale Nursery (Englewood, CO), suggested we change the name to Northern Crepe Myrtle – what do you think?

Heptacodium at LVWN

To learn more, read the article written by Mike Bone with Denver Botanic Gardens here.

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5 Responses to Beathtaking beauty – Seven son flower tree

  1. Darlene Feller says:

    Just learned about this flowering tree and trying to find a mail order catalog that has this product with no luck. I do go to the Ft Collins area every summer and have seen the flower garden at the universary and yes not good this year. Wondering if I should visit some of the nurseries while there to get a seven-son flower tree.

  2. Pat Hayward says:

    It’s becoming more well known each year, so you should have better luck finding it next spring.

  3. Panayoti Kelaidis says:

    So glad you mentioned the Heptacodium at Little Valley: we were all stunned by its beauty. Actually, everything growing out at that multi site trial was amazing. I congratulate Dr. Klett and his students on how that program was conceived, executed and the amazing follow through. I need to get back there soon with some of my DBG colleagues to watch their reaction.

    I’ll be the Heptacodium is just as stunning right now in seed…

  4. aporieelorm says:

    I am frequently looking for brand-new blogposts in the WWW about this theme. Thx.

  5. Mike Woods says:

    Hi Pat,
    One of my goals this year is to use many many more Plant Select Plants.
    Especially the manzanitas, cytisus, and other shrubs and perennials.

    In our landscaping strategy we used drip irrigation on all plants and I have noticed that many of the Plant Select material didn’t make it through a growing season or maybe even through the winter. Being production oriented it is tough to go back through and alter the drip emitters.
    I was pleased to see many of them make it through the first season where I didn’t put in any automatic watering. Hand watering worked well here and I didn’t lose anything.

    I’m just curious and wondered whether you had heard any feedback from the landscaper crowd.
    Happy Holidays

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