Disporum longistylum

3 Jul

Disporum longistylum (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Dappled shade

Flowering period: Late spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 90cm

Eventual Spread: 60cm

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

Family: Colchicaceae

Disporum longistylum is a deciduous herbaceous perennial with a clump forming upright habit. Its dark green leaves are lanceolate to elliptic with entire margins, up to 15cm long and 4cm across. Its green/ white pendulous flowers are umbellate and appear terminally. Its blue/ black fruit are spherical and up to 9mm across. Its roots are rhizomes which aids its slow spread.

Disporum longistylum Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum Flower (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum, commonly known as Chinese Fairybells, is native to central south China. In its native habitat it grows in forest locations.

The etymological root of the binomial name Disporum is derived from the Greek dis meaning two’ and sporus meaning ‘seed’. Longistylum is derived from the Latin longe meaning ‘long’ and stylus meaning ‘pillar’, in reference to the style of the flower.

The landscape architect may find Disporum longistylum useful as a clump forming herbaceous perennial suitable for dappled shade location, including woodland planting schemes.

Disporum longistylum Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Disporum longistylum Leaf (23/05/2015, Kew Gardens, London)

Ecologically, Disporum longistylum flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Disporum longistylum prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It dislikes dry soils.

Disporum longistylum requires little maintenance. Its dead stems may be cut to ground level in late winter to keep a tidy appearance.

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Landscape Architecture

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