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Kolkwitzia amabilis

6th April 2021

I have always been impressed by the summer flowering of the Beautybush. I am sure I planted it in the garden decades ago, but I don't have any pictures to confirm the fact. I think I planted it under a group of Pyrus salicifolia 'Pendula' but they are long gone and there's no sign of a Kolkwitzia either.
A few years ago I was offered some cuttings by Paul Bonavia and was delighted to be growing the plant again. One of the youngsters has finally made it into the garden on a sunny slope where it should prosper.
It grows on mountain slopes and among scrub in the watershed of the Han and Yantze rivers in China. Rare in the wild but very common in cultivation. Originally collected as seed by E. H. Wilson from the mountains of Hubei, China in 1907 and sent to the Veitch Nursery where it flowered in 1910. Most of the plants in cultivation probably derive from Wilson's original introduction.


  • James Armitage, Dawn Edwards, Neil Lancaster, John G. Hillier and Roy Lancaster (eds), The Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs, 8th edition, 2014.
  • W. J. Bean, Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles, Eighth edition.