Family: Caprifoliaceae

Native to India, the Himalayas, Japan and China, these showy, low-branching evergreen shrubs bear fragrant pink or white flowers, with long-lasting reddish sepals. An orange marking may appear in the throat of the flowers. Advanced Abelia grows densely and works well as foundation or border planting.


A. x grandiflora is often referred to as glossy abelia. It is a dense, bushy shrub, with oval, glossy, bronze-green leaves and smallish bell-shaped flowers in pink, tinged with white, between summer and fall in most areas. Cultivar 'Variegata', also known as 'Francis Mason' or golden abelia, has a similar growth and flowering to A. x grandiflora, but has rich yellow variegations. To achieve the golden color, plant in full sun. A. schumannii from China is a slender, arching shrub with dull leaves and rosy pink flowers from summer to fall. A. uniflora, from China, is dense and bushy, with dark green leaves. It produces single pinkish white flowers with an orange throat, from summer to autumn.


Plant Abelia in rich, well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade. They thrive when well watered. Propagate in summer and autumn from semi-hardwood cuttings, 15-18 cm (6-7 in) long. These strike easily in the open if they have some shade or if well protected from strong sun and wind. In winter strike from hardwood cuttings, 20-25 cm (8-10 in) long. In spring each year prune lightly to the desired shape and remove some of the old canes at ground level.


Zones 6 and 7 and above.