Stephanandra is a small to medium-sized shrub forming large thickets. This graceful shrub has long arching stems, and is often grown for the maple-like leaves which turn a stunning orange-red fall color. Very nice for woodland gardens and mixed borders.
This plant has some cultivated varieties. Go to list of cultivars.
All Common Names:
Tree or Plant Type:
- Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
- Medium shrub (5-8 feet),
- Small shrub (3-5 feet)
- Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily),
- Partial sun/shade (4-6 hrs light daily)
- Zone 4,
- Zone 5 (Chicago),
- Zone 6,
- Zone 7
- Acid soil,
- Moist, well-drained soil
- Spring blossoms,
- Fall color
Season of Interest:
- Mid spring,
- Early fall
Flower Color & Fragrance:
Shape or Form:
A dense, thicket-forming shrub reaching 4 to 7 feet high and wide.
Tree & Plant Care
Does best in loose, well-drained soils that have been supplemented with organic matter. Water in dry periods.
Prune after flowering by cutting back shoots to strong buds. On older, over grown plants, cut one-third of oldest stems to the ground.
Stems root wherever they touch the ground, so separate them in autumn, winter, or early spring to make new plants.
Disease, pests, and problems
Native geographic location and habitat
Japan and Korea
Grows on mountain slopes, or by stream banks
Bark color and texture
Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture
Alternate, 1 to 2 inch long, maple-like leaves with toothed, wavy margins.
New leaves emerge with a reddish tinge, changing to bright green.
Fall color is a reddish-purple to red-orange
Flower arrangement, shape, and size
Small, star-shaped, white flowers borne in clusters at tips of branches
Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions
Dried follicle, not showy
Cultivars and their differences
Crispa Cutleaf Stephanandra (Stephanandra incisa 'Crispa'): A low-growing, densely branched, deciduous shrub which typically grows 1 to 2 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide. Small, maple-like leaves unfold reddish-bronze turning green for summer. Use as a ground cover, low hedge or foundation plant. Also effective for erosion control on banks and slopes.