Seven-son flower

Flowers of seven-son flower shrub.

Seven-son flower, which is really a large shrub or small tree, produces white flowers in late summer. After the petals fall, the pink sepals remain giving the appearance that the plant is in flower again. The whitish-tan bark peels in strips and is striking against a dark background. Use as a specimen plant, back or the border, or in a naturalized area.

Botanical name:

Heptacodium miconioides

All Common Names:

Seven-son flower

Family (English):

Honeysuckle

Family (Botanic):

Caprifoliaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub,
  • Tree

Foliage:

  • Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Mixed border,
  • Patio/sidewalk,
  • Specimen,
  • Utility

Size Range:

  • Small tree (15-25 feet),
  • Compact tree (10-15 feet),
  • Large shrub (more than 8 feet)

Light Exposure:

  • Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
  • Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 5 (Chicago),
  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8

Soil Preference:

  • Acid soil,
  • Moist, well-drained soil

Season of Interest:

  • Early winter,
  • Mid winter,
  • Late summer,
  • Early fall,
  • Mid fall,
  • Late fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • White

Shape or Form:

  • Irregular,
  • Upright

Growth Rate:

  • Moderate,
  • Fast

More Information:

Size and Form

15 to 20 feet high and 8 to 12 feet wide; upright form.

Tree & Plant Care

Prune late fall through very early spring as flower buds are formed in the spring.

Disease, pests and problems

No serious problems.

Native geographic location and habitat

Native to China.

Bark color and texture 

Light tan with a light colored inner bark; exfoliates (peels) into long strips exposing the inner bark.Leaves of seven-son flower

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Simple, opposite leaves; 3 to 6 inches long; margin entire and slightly wavy.
Dark green from early spring into late fall; little to no fall color.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

Small, white  flowers late in season (September) in clusters of  seven; several flower clusters grouped together.
When the flower petals drop in October, the long-lasting sepals turn an attractive, bright, rosy-pink color, making the plant appear to flower a second time.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Small dry capsules, hidden among the pink sepals; not ornamentally important.Pink sepals around the fruits of seven-son flower

Location of Heptacodium miconioides (Seven-son flower) at the Arboretum