Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’

8 Nov

Choisya ternata 'Sundance' foliage (08/11/2010, London)

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ foliage (08/11/2010, London)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 3m

Eventual Spread: 2.5m

Hardiness: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b

Family: Rutaceae

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ is a bushy, rounded evergreen shrub with a dense appearance. Its yellow/ green leaves are opposite, glossy, leathery and palmately divided into fans of 3 to 13 leaflets. The individual leaves are up to 8cm long and release a pleasant fragrance when crushed, similar to basil. The yellow foliage is a recessive genetic trait which can revert with time to the darker green of Choisya ternata. The star shaped hermaphrodite flowers are pure white with green stigma. They are scented and up to 3cm across . The fruit is a 2 to 6 sectioned leathery capsule.

The species Choisya ternata, commonly known as Mexican Orange or Mock Orange is native to southwestern United States and most of Mexico. It was introduced from Mexico into the UK in 1825.

The etymological root of the binomial name Choisya is derived from the surname of Jacques Choisy as mentioned above. Ternata is derived from the Latin ternum ‘three each’, referring to the leaves often appearing in threes.

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ (08/11/2010, London)

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ (08/11/2010, London)

The landscape architect may find  Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ useful as an evergreen ground cover plant with fragrant flowers and bright foliage, particularly in light shade locations. It is effective when planted en mass due to its low maintenance. It may be planted as both a formal and informal hedge. It is drought and pollution tolerant once established.

Ecologically, Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ flowers attract the Honey bee, butterflies and other pollinating insects.

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’ requires little maintenance. To encourage a second flush of flowers in autumn cut the stems by 25cm after flowering in spring.

Davis Landscape Architecture


One Response to “Choisya ternata ‘Sundance’”


  1. Plant of the Week: Choisya Ternata « landscape architecture Blog - 13/01/2012

    […] Family: Rutaceae […]

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