fbpx Glossy abelia | The Morton Arboretum

Glossy abelia

A small to medium, rounded shrub with arching stems. The late spring, highly fragrant, bell-shaped white flowers have a pink blush. The dark green, glossy leaves turn a bronze-purple. Effective as a low hedge, specimen plant or en masse on slopes for erosion control.

Botanical name:

Abelia x grandiflora

All Common Names:

Glossy abelia

Family (English):

Honeysuckle

Family (Botanic):

Caprifoliaceae

Tree or Plant Type:

  • Shrub

Native Locale:

  • Non-native

Landscape Uses:

  • Container,
  • Foundation,
  • Massing,
  • Mixed border,
  • Specimen

Size Range:

  • Small shrub (3-5 feet),
  • Low-growing shrub (under 3 feet)

Light Exposure:

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

Hardiness Zones:

  • Zone 6,
  • Zone 7,
  • Zone 8,
  • Zone 9

Soil Preference:

  • Moist, well-drained soil

Season of Interest:

  • Late spring,
  • Early summer,
  • Mid summer,
  • Late summer,
  • Mid fall

Flower Color & Fragrance:

  • Fragrant,
  • Pink,
  • Yellow

Shape or Form:

  • Arching,
  • Round

Growth Rate:

  • Fast

More Information:

Size & Form

A multi-stemmed, rounded shrub with arching branches reachinbg 3 to 6 feet high and wide.

Tree & Plant Care

Best in full sun to part shade in well drained soil.
Can be prone to winter dieback, site in a protected area.
Prefers a moist, organic rich soil.
Prune back dieback in spring

Disease, pests, and problems

None serious

Native geographic location and habitat

Hybrid. Cross between Abelia chinensis x Abelia uniflora

Attracts birds, pollinators, or wildlife

Birds and butterflies

Bark color and texture 

Fine-textured thin stems, reddish-purple.
Older stems have a thin peeling bark in strips

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture

Opposite, simple, ovate , glossy dark gree, turning a bronzy-purple in the fall

Flower arrangement, shape, and size

White with pinking flush, bell-shapped, 1-1/12 inches long, in loose panicles.
Highly fragrant. Blooms on new wood

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed descriptions

Non-sterile, leathery, 1-seeded dry dehiscent fruit

Cultivars and their differences 

Pinky Bells® ( Abelia x grandiflora 'Lynn'): A lavender-pink pendulous flower; 2 to 3 feet high and 3 to 4 feet wide.

Location of Abelia x grandiflora (Glossy abelia) at the Arboretum

We do not seem to have this in our living collection.