Love in Bloom

Flowering trees bring the landscape to life. Their blossoms will delight your senses and set your garden apart.

By Marty Ross


flowering tree seven-son flowerSEVEN-SON FLOWER
Heptacodium miconioides
15-20 ft

There is terrific freshness in the lush, long-lasting snow white blossoms of seven-son flower, a native of China. Seven-son flower blooms in late summer through early fall. At Chanticleer, it looks spectacular with Tiger Eyes sumac (Rhus typhina 'Bailtiger'). The pinkish red calyxes, above, persist for weeks after the flowers have faded and are its most striking feature. Young trees can be a challenge, Sternberg says, because they are lanky and awkward for several years before the tree develops into an interesting specimen. "It doesn't know what it wants to be," he says, and requires "pinching and tweaking" to develop its form. Seven-son flower grows in sun or shade to 15 to 20 feet tall and is tolerant of drought and salt. It is sometimes called the crape myrtle of the North because of its exfoliating bark. Hardy in Zones 5 to 8.