Enkianthus: Shrub of the Week

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Several years back I bought this shade-loving shrub at one of the Secrest Arboretum sales.  This is the first year it has flowered.  I can’t find the tag naming the plant.  Can you ID it for me? - Thanks, Skip


  This was the e-mail impetus for this bygl-alert, coming from Dr. Skip Nault, Professor Emeritus, entomologist, and former Director of the Ohio State University’s Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center (OARDC) in Wooster. The pictures in this alert are from Skip. 


  The answer to Skip’s question is that it is a wonderful spring-flowering shrub, red-veined enkianthus (Enkianthus campanulatus).  This underused ericaceous (in the Ericaceae), acid-loving shrub is finishing up its blooms, in all their delicate glory now in northeast Ohio.  From an entry I wrote years ago in the Ohio Nursery and Landscape Association’s  Landscape Plants for Ohio:


  “Small- to medium-sized shrub (6-10 feet) with layered branch structure, very attractive cream-yellow flowers outlined with red veins, and outstanding fall color.  Light green leaves turn to dark green by summer and then turn to a range of yellows, reds and oranges for fall color show. Prefers partial shade and again – acid soils.”

enkianthus in landscape
Red-veined enkianthus in landscape setting