Small Flowering Evergreen Selection Help

j0nd03March 19, 2012

I recently created a new bed on the east side of the house. I have filled in the majority of the bed with day lilies, tulips, daffodils, asiatic lilies, 3 azaleas and dahlias. There is also an 'Orangeola', Ms. Kim lilac, Calycanthus floridus , and Callicarpa americana. I have one spot left and that is the one spot I let the wife have. I am struggling to find something that meets her criteria:


Flowers in a color other than white (yellow would be ideal)

Fairly small - ~3-4'

Full sun but with afternoon shade after about 2:00

I would highly prefer something native but my very limited knowledge of perrenials/shrubs didn't come up with anything. We picked out a camellia on a whim Saturday, but I think it will get too much sun and get too large. We also had a soil test recently and the ph is 7 and we are below optimum in P and K.

Any suggestions would be very helpful!


ps - Ken if you can't say something nice... you know the rest ;)

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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

to match your pink suit.. will flowering almond work in your zone??? and soil????

and i know you are kidding.. i hope anyway ... but you may be staining an otherwise sterling reputation with that slander..

do let me know if you are not kidding... who knows what those emoticons all mean .. wink .. wink ... or a semi colon and a paren mean ...

they are pretty big at the link.. whats that all about.. in my z5 .. it a 3 to 4 foot shrub ...


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 3:22PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

you got me so worried with the slander.. i forgot the link ..


Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 3:24PM
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Pretty sure those are not evergreen, right? They are very pretty at the big box stores atm.

Yes just a joke! She reads some of these responses, too and I don't want her thinking someone is making fun of her. She doesn't get to 'experience' the users here very much so she might take offense to something the regulars do not.

The help is always appreciated! Someday, I might even make a new dance in my pink suit just for you lol


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 3:54PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

If you give up the evergreen requirement you could use golden currant or dwarf forsythia.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 5:59PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Would Fremontodendron be hardy where you are? It's evergreen and yellow. But it would be taller than you said. If you drop the evergreen stipulation a rose such as Graham Thomas or whatever is a suitable smaller equivalent for your region might fit the bill? Potentilla fruticosa would be yellow and the right height but not evergreen. Or Cytisus praecox? Again yellow but not evergreen. Oregon grape, Mahonia aquifolium would be yellow and evergreen but can spread gradually. No idea if any of these would suit your zone.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 6:17PM
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ken_adrian Adrian MI cold Z5

well jon.. not everything i grow up here.. that loses its leaves up here.. are deciduous down there.. i will leave it to you to figure that out ... but yes.. the flowering almond.. which is NOT an almond.. is deciduous for me ...

i grow daphne that is nearly deciduous up here .. i bet its not down there ...

hey.. what about daphne???? .. i have one that is a re-bloomer.. and the scent is to die for ...


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:19AM
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I will not allow her any more forsythia - she already has 3!

I think golden currant get much too large and not evergreen.

Fremontodendron is a new one one me! But not hardy here. We hit 3* last winter which would have knocked them down to the ground or worse.

Ptentilla fruticosa, sytisus praecox not evergreen.

Mahonia aquifolium and Gelsemium sempervirens are no go's because she does not like vines... as you can see, she can be quite picky...

Alright, she wants something neither bboy, flora, ken, or nhbabs (from my post in the perennials forum) can find a reasonable selection for... so I told her there is nothing in existence that fits her demands lol

Can we just exclude the yellow flowering suggestion? I think I made too big a point about the yellow flowers. It can be any color other than white. And I am already resigned to the fact we may have to get something a little larger than the space allows and I will just have to prune it.

Thanks so much everyone


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 9:47AM
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hypericum frondosom has been evergreen for me during some winters -others it was not.
it is a pretty shrub with yellow flowers that bees can't resist. the foliage is bluish-green. the fruits are interesting. it is native.
it is, as they say, not a long-lived shrub but should leave some seedlings if you don't take off the seedpods.
my plant never grew over 3' tall.

Here is a link that might be useful: st. john's wort

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:04AM
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Some of the Hypericum densiflorum individuals are almost evergreen.

And found this:

Hypericum kalmianum is a small, evergreen shrub or subshrub with upright branching that typically grows in a dense mound to 2-3 feet tall. It is native to the Great Lakes region of the U. S. where it typically occurs in rocky to sandy soils, ranging from relatively dry open woods to moist lakeshore areas. 'Deppe' is commonly sold in commerce under the trade name of SUNNY BOULEVARD. It is the product of an open pollination of H. kalmianum 'Gemo' (seed parent) and an unknown selection of H. kalmianum (pollen parent) that occurred in a controlled breeding program in Grand Haven, Michigan in 2002.

Here is a link that might be useful: source

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 11:08AM
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I called the wife and had her google it. She loves it.

Interesting that MOBOT has it listed as a deciduous shrub but classifies the leaves as evergreen.

Thank you both!


Here is a link that might be useful: MOBOT Sunny Boulevard

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:14PM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

John, Mahonia aquifolium isn't a vine. I hadn't thought of Hypericums. Good call jeff_al.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:24PM
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My mistake flora. I will make sure the wife sees it before ordering the St John's wort.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:38PM
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Called MOBOT about the St. John's wort Sunny Boulevard and they said to expect semi evergreen most winters but this winter it most likely would have remained evergreen in my zone. Might help someone who reads this down the road.


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 1:03PM
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I love pink and yellow together and have a new bed on the side of house waiting for me to decide what to put in it, think I'll try flowering almond and Sunny Boulevard. Glad you asked about this John, I was running out of ideas, hub doesn't want anything that gets too large there (the P.O.s had roses there but we had to have the sewage line replaced and everything got ripped out), these two ought to fit his criteria and mine very well.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 3:04PM
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Ken, I somehow overlooked your daphne suggestion. I really like that, too. I know a few spots I could locate one in partial shade around the house. Do you have any favorite cultivars?


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 8:59PM
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I'm not familiar with Z7 planting, but would a Kalmia work? Not sure if it needs more acidic. possibly. I have dwarf K. 'Tinkerbelle' that is in part-shade and is still under 2' (I bought them quite small 3-4 years ago).

ditto rhodies and azalea?

In zone 5, Daphne 'Carol Mackie' is the standard choice, but in your zone there should be more choice.

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 10:56PM
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Wendy, I believe Kalmia, as well as the azaleas, rhodies and camelias all are acid loving plants and I am smack dab at neutral. The soil test results might also help explain my struggles getting Oxydendrum arboreum started.


    Bookmark   March 21, 2012 at 9:00AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Escallonia might be hardy for you. Most sites list it as zone 8 but some list it as 7. Oregon State University lists 'Apple Blossom' as zone 7.

When I lived in Oregon, this was one of my favorite shrubs of all time. 'Pink Princess' is another cultivar, a hybrid, and it's hardiness is most-likely the same as any of the other escallonia's.

Anyways, they bloom all summer. They're really amazing shrubs.

It could be worth a try.

They also respond well to pruning.


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Love the Pink Princess. I have seen 7a-8a reported for minimum hardiness of this cultivar. Thanks for putting it on my radar, Dax


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 9:34AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Escallonias do get pretty large, though. You'd need to prune it down to the size you stipulated. You're looking at 5 - 6 feet high and wide. But they do take clipping quite well. They are often used for hedges here.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 1:34PM
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Thanks flora. It would have to go either on the north or west side of the house. I have run out of room with the east bed! We will create beds on the north and west sides this fall most likely. Never too early to start thinking about what to plunk in the spaces :)


    Bookmark   March 22, 2012 at 1:59PM
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cyn427 (zone 7)

John, if you (or anyone else) find a source for the escallonia, would you post it, please? I would love to add one or several to my yard! I will look locally, but don't recall having ever seen one. Thanks.


    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 2:39PM
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Jon - My favorite Daphne (my only Daphne as many have an odor I find unpleasant) is D. x transatlantica 'Summer Ice'. It blooms from just before the last frost until the final hard freeze in the fall, but unfortunately for you they are a light lavender (cool weather) to white (hot weather.) The leaves are a nice bluish green with a delicate white edge. It is semievergreen for me if it is under the snow, but in snowless winter like this one, the foliage is hard hit. You'd probably do better, but I don't know enough about your winters to be sure. I'm not sure what it likes for pH, but I think it's a lot less fussy than many Daphnes. It is by far my longest blooming plant, a steady performer with its lovely foliage and constant bloom, but never a knock-your-socks-off garden star. For that you might want 'Carol Mackie' (though smell it before planting it) which has light pink flowers that totally cover the shrub for a few weeks in late spring. This one has gold-edged leaves.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 6:34PM
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MollyDog(6 PA)

I vote for the trellis.

    Bookmark   March 24, 2012 at 9:00PM
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