Rhodotypos scandens

15 Jun

Rhodotypos scandens (18/04/15, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhodotypos scandens (18/04/15, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Position: Full sun to partial shade

Flowering period: Late spring to summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2m

Eventual Spread: 3m

Hardiness: 4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Rosaceae

Rhodotypos scandens is a deciduous shrub with an open bushy habit. Its mid green leaves are ovate with an acute tip and serrate margins, up to 11cm long and 6cm across. Its white flowers are flat saucer shaped, up to 5cm across and appear terminally. Its shiny black fruit is a spherical drupe which is up to 8mm across. The roots of this plant produce suckers which aids its slow spread.

Rhodotypos scandens Flower (18/04/15, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhodotypos scandens Flower (18/04/15, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhodotypos scandens, commonly known as Rhodotypos, Black Jetbead or Jet Bead, is native to China, Japan and Korea. In its native habitat it grows in forests on mountain slopes and valleys. Rhodotypos scandens is the sole member of this genus. It should be noted this shrub is an invasive species in parts of east North America.

The etymological root of the binomial name Rhodotypos is derived from the Greek rodon ‘a rose’ and typos meaning ‘type’. Scandens is derived from the Latin scando meaning ‘climb’.

Rhodotypos scandens Leaf (18/04/15, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

Rhodotypos scandens Leaf (18/04/15, Imperial Palace East Garden, Tokyo, Japan)

The landscape architect may find Rhodotypos scandens useful a medium sized deciduous shrub with attractive white summer flowers. This shrub is tollerant of urban pollution. Once established this shrub is drought tollerant. It should be noted the berries of this shrub are poisonious.

Ecologically, Rhodotypos scandens flowers are attractive to pollinating insects. Its berries are attractive to some birds.

Rhodotypos scandens prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Rhodotypos scandens requires little maintenance.

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