Vintage™ Jade DistyliumDistylium myricoides.x racemosum 'Vintage Jade' (PP# 23,128)
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Distylium myricoides.x racemosum 'Vintage Jade' (PP# 23,128)
Outdoor Growing zone
Full Sun, Partial Sun
Vintage Jade Distylium is a new plant that is proving to be an instant success. This attractive evergreen has fresh, glossy green foliage, and an unique structure with broad, layering branches. It is naturally dense and bushy, and it can easily be clipped into hedges. Ideal for groundcover and filling beds, it has small, dark-red blooms along the branches between February and March.
One of the toughest plants around, the Vintage Jade Distylium is happy in sun or partial shade, and it grows in any kind of soil at all. It thrives in everything from wet ground to hard drought, and it is completely free of pests or diseases – finally a plant that always looks healthy. It can be grown without trimming, or trim from early spring to mid-summer for a super-neat effect. It is hardy in warmer parts of zone 6, and throughout the hottest states.
We know, you have probably never heard of Distylium, but the picture looked interesting, right? Well you are right to be interested, because this plant is something new, and it’s a plant that is going to reduce your gardening stress. You know what we mean – you go into the garden, and there are your plants full of insect holes, wilting from drought or yellowing from too much water, and looking either overgrown or on the brink of death. Let us restore your calmness, and suggest you plant Vintage Jade Distylium, the best garden shrub you have never heard of. Actually, ‘one of the best’, because you must check out our other Distylium varieties as well. This terrific new plants is set to be big, especially in the South, where keeping your garden perfect can be especially difficult. This versatile evergreen is a great alternative for smaller types of cherry laurel, with the bonus of colorful flowers. The even bigger bonus is how tough and genuinely free of pests and diseases this plant is.
Vintage Jade Distylium is a bushy evergreen with a broad spreading habit, and interesting layered branching that makes it low-growing, but wide-spreading. Plants soon grow to be 2 or 3 feet tall, with a spread up to 8 feet across. The branches are covered in smooth, glossy, oval leaves with a leathery texture, about 2½ inches long and ¾ of an inch wide – somewhere between cherry laurel and boxwood. The leaves are a rich, dark green, and new leaves are a slightly lighter green. For stable, all-year rich green, you can’t beat it. There is a big surprise in late winter and early spring, between February and March, depending on how soon warmer weather arrives in your area. Along the branches from the previous year fascinating bright-red clusters of unusual flowers open, making an intriguing and gently colorful display that lasts for several weeks, from bud to flower drop. The red buds appear on short stems that sprout from the base of every leaf, and they open into small clusters of fuzzy, dark-red stamens – these unique flowers have no petals. The flowers are followed by inconspicuous green-brown seed pods.
This versatile shrub is ideal for groundcover in your beds, bringing a calm, stable, year-round background to the comings and goings of your other plants. With its wide spread to height ratio it is an economical way to fill larger areas – just 5 plants will fill 150 square feet with solid green in just a few years, if they are spaced 5 feet apart. You can easily trim the top to keep it to just 18 inches tall or leave it to adopt its natural height of less than 3 feet. It can also be more rigorously trimmed into neat hedges, but why add work? Enjoy the natural density and bushiness of Vintage Jade Distylium and leave your shears to rust in the shed.
Vintage Jade Distylium is the hardiest of the new Distylium hybrids, and it grows from warmer parts of zone 6 right into the heat of zone 9. In bad winters in zone 6 it may suffer some foliage burning, but the new shoots bounce back and quickly restore its lush beauty. It is very heat-tolerant, and it thrives in the South.
Anywhere outside of full shade will suit the Vintage Jade Distylium. Give it full sun or just a few hours of direct sun a day – it will be happy. As for soil, this plant is incredibly adaptable. It grows in all soil types, from sand to clay and acid to alkaline. Once established it tolerates harsh drought, yet it also grows in wet ground.
One of the worst things about growing plants, especially where winters are mild and summer long and hot, is pests. Perhaps the most appealing thing of all about the Vintage Jade Distylium is the complete absence of any pests or diseases of any significance. Even in trials it remains untouched, which means no chewed leaves, no mold or mildew, just fresh, green, healthy foliage. As for trimming, you can do it or not, as you choose. The best time to trim is immediately after flowering, preparing the way for a full flush of new leaves. You can trim in summer if you want, but don’t trim late in the season if you are in zones 6 and 7 – new growth is more susceptible to cold damage.
The two parent species of this hybrid plant come from China. Distylium racemosum is a small tree in the wild, and it has been known in botanical gardens for years, but largely ignored as a garden plant. Distylium myricoides has only recently been seen in America, but its attractive layered branches attracted the attention of experts. In 2002 Piroche Plants in Pitt Meadows, British Columbia, received a shipment of both these species from China. Tucked among them was a surprise stowaway. One unique-looking plant was put aside and grown for a while. In 2005 Michael Dirr of the University of Georgia collected seed from that odd plant – today verified by DNA testing as a hybrid – and grew a batch of seedlings. Twenty-one of these were studied at the University’s botanical gardens for 10 years, and three of the most interesting and reliable were patented. The first patent was for ‘Vintage Jade’, and this great plant is now being propagated and made available for the first time.
It’s great to have something completely new to offer, and something so reliable and useful. Make your gardening life easier and plant the Vintage Jade Distylium in all those blank spots. You will love it, but order now, or the best plant you have never heard of will be gone.