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

Foliage:

  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Hedge,
  • Massing,
  • 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 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

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.

Location of Kolkwitzia amabilis (Beauty bush) at the Arboretum