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TREES & plants

Beauty bush

Beauty bush in full flower.

An old-fashion back of the border shrub.  Beauty bush lives up to its name in spring when it is covered with pink, bell-shaped flowers.  Arching stems and dark green foliage turns a yellow-green in fall. During the rest of the season it offers little in the way of ornamental appeal.

This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.

 

Botanical name: 
Kolkwitzia amabilis
All Common Names: 
Beauty bush, Beautybush, beauty-bush
Family (English): 
Honeysuckle
Family (Botanic): 
Caprifoliaceae
Tree or Plant Type: 
  • Shrub
Native Locale: 
  • Non-native
Landscape Uses: 
  • Massing
  • Hedge
  • Screen
Size Range: 
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)
  • Medium shrub (5-8 feet)
Light Exposure: 
  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily)
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
Hardiness Zones: 
  • Zone 4
  • Zone 5
  • Zone 6
  • Zone 7
  • Zone 8
Soil Preference: 
  • Moist, well-drained soil
Foliage: 
  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
Season of Interest: 
  • Late spring
  • Early summer
Flower Color & Fragrance: 
  • Pink
Shape or Form: 
  • Arching
  • Multi-stemmed
  • Upright
  • Vase-shaped
Growth Rate: 
  • Fast
More Information: 

Size and habit

An upright arching shrub reaching 6 to 10 feet high.

Tree & Plant Care

Prefers full sun for best flowering in well-drained soil, but does well in part shade conditions.
Beauty Bush flowers on old wood; prune after flowering.
For older plants, remove 2 to 3 stems to the ground annually or cut to the ground to rejuvenate plant.

Disease, pests, and problems

None serious.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to China.

Bark color and texture 

Light gray-brown. Older stems have exfoliating, bark.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite; simple; 1 to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide.
Medium green turns yellow in fall.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Deep pink, 2-lipped tubular flowers, veined with a yellow-orange bell-shaped throat.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

A bristly, 1/4-inch feathery seed capsule.

Cultivars and their differences

Dream Catcher™ (Kolkwitzia amabilis 'Maradco'): 6 to 9 feet high and 4 to 6 feet wide; upright, arching habit, yellow and lime green foliage changing orange-gold.