Loropetalum chinense- Chinese Loropetalum, Chinese Fringe-flower, Fringebush, Chinese Witch Hazel, Green leaves and white flowers growing 10 to 12 feet high—this is the only form grown here before the 1990’s. Not widely planted today. Dwarf varieties include ‘Snow Muffin’ to 2’ high and ‘Snow Dance’ growing 6 to 8 feet high.
Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum- Redleaf Chinese Loropetalum, Fringebush, Loropetalum- this is the “new” popular shrub available in tall and dwarf varieties that most gardeners recognize as Loropetalum.
Michael Dirr the author of Manual of Woody Landscape Plants introduces Loropetalum by writing “If prescriptions could be written for perfect garden plants, this species would come close to filling the order”. “A star on the rise, introduced fromChina about 1990, and currently among the most popular broadleaf evergreens in the Southern gardens…Easy to manage, unbelievably drought-tolerant, and pest-free. I consider it one of the top introductions of the past 10 years.”
Dr. Ed Gilman a horticulture professor at the University of Florida wrote, “This is a fairly new plant to Florida and is commonly used as a shrub. However it trains up nicely as a small flowering tree. Fringebush prefers an acid soil and a mostly sunny position in the landscape. Its small size makes it well suited for planting in back of a shrub border or for use as a small tree near the patio. Limb the tree up to make a small tree. Mass several together to make a dramatic statement and a nice, delicate flower show. It can be trained into a nice espalier. This is becoming a popular plant used for many landscapes situations. There are green leafed with white flowers cultivars: and there are red leafed with red, white or pink flowers cultivars (var. rubrum).” Two selections of Loropetalum chinense var. rubrum were obtained from Nihonkaki Nursery, Kawaguchi City, Japan, by former National Arboretum Director, John L. Creech, in September, 1989, at the request of Horticulturist Sylvester G. March. They were among the first L. Chinense var. rubrum introduced into the United States. Over 15 different introductions of this particular pink-flowered variety of Loropetalum have been established in North America since the late 1980’s.
‘Burgundy’- This is the other original introduction; reddish purple new growth and medium sized hot pink flowers. Reddish purple leaf color is best when grown in fertile moist soils. Blooms are borne mid-season. Grows slightly wider than tall. Grows to 8-10 feet high. If allowed to grow unpruned it will grow to be a tall graceful shrub or small tree.
“Emerald Snow” – Semi-dwarf green with white flowers
“Ever-Red” – 6-8 feet dark burgundy foilage, retains color throughout year, red flower.
‘Purple Diamond’- vibrant pink blooms appear in spring and occasionally throughout the summer and fall, intense purple foliage colored foliage. ‘Purple diamons’ grows 5’X5’.
‘Ruby’- blooms mid-season with medium hot pink flowers with dark-green to burgundy rounded foliage growing fast to about 4-6 feet high and wide.
‘Suzanne’- blooms mid-season with medium pink flowers with dark black-green to bronze or burgundy foliage.
‘Zhu-zhou Fuchsia’- blooms early- to mid-season with hot pink flowers with black-purple to deep purple foliage. This variety is distinctly upright in habit growing 8 to 10 feet tall.