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Callicarpa bodinieri var. giraldii 'Profusion'

Archive entry 04.08.19

1st August 2015

One of those common but quite remarkable shrubs that can be overlooked until the mauve berries form, when it suddenly becomes unmissable. Even though I am used to seeing it on roundabouts and urban planting schemes I still find myself peering at it open mouthed every time I pass. Common common commpon, mauve mauve mauve it runs through my head like a chant in a playground of six-year-olds.
The species was discovered in China by Augustin Henry in 1887, C. b. var. bodinieri arrived in the UK from a Wilson introduction in 1907. The difference between the two varieties is slight enough to mean that there is scope for continual confusion. The type variety is slightly less hairy.
Fortunately the only mauve berried cultivar seen in cultivation (except in the most arcane collections) is 'Profusion' which is generally "better" all round (more compact, better leaf colour, freer berrying, better colour). In addition it is enthusiastically self-fertile (think teenager at that awkward age) rather than reluctantly middle-aged, where you're wined and dined and then think better of it.

14th November 2015

29th October 2016

3rd August 2019