Pieris – Popular Shrubs for the Garden
Double value shrubs are usually worth growing and anyone with a lime-free, of the type on which rhododendrons thrive, should grow pieris. if there is room for one only it should be Pieris forrestii (Pieris formosa forrestii) in one of its finest forms, such as Pieris ‘Exbury Form’ or ‘Wakehurst Variety’.
The great glory of this evergreen shrub is in the spring or early summer, when the young growths are developing. These bear a resemblance to shuttlecocks on the ends of the branches, are brilliant red and remain so for some weeks before turning a light green, which turns darker as the summer advances. Sprays of white, fragrant similar to lily-of-the-valley appear in April and May when the red young growths are at their best.
The shrub will reach 10 feet in milder places, with a proportionate spread. In less protected places a height of about 6 feet is more usual. In general,is unnecessary, except to remove dead or dying wood.
Pieris japonica, which ultimately grows to about 10 feet, has larger flowers that are produced in March and April, a little earlier than other species.
Another of these plants, is Pieris taiwanensis, which reaches the same height and flowers freely during April and May. None, however, has quite the attraction of the best forms of Pieris forrestii.
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