Abelia x grandiflora

Accession Count: 9
Common Name: Glossy abelia
Family Name: Caprifoliaceae
Botanical Name: Abelia x grandiflora
Synonyms:
Botanical Synonyms: Linnaea x grandiflora, Abelia rupestris var. grandiflora
Sub Species:
Variety:
Forma:
Cultivar:
Characteristics: Abelia x grandiflora is a hybrid resulting from a cross between Abelia chinensis and Abelia uniflora. It is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with arching branches, and a dense, rounded form (1, 2). Leaves are dark green and red tinged in the summer, becoming bronze during the winter, if stems do not die back (1, 3). The stalks are thin, finely textured, and pale gray to reddish-purple in color. Bark of A. grandiflora is pubescent on young stems, while forming thin peeling strips on older stalks (1, 4). The leaf arrangement is opposite and leaves are simple, with a rounded leaf base, and shallow, dentate margins (1). From late spring to fall, conspicuous clusters of tubular whitish-pink flowers form (2), possessing purple sepals and being highly fragrant (5, 4). After pollination, a single-seeded, brown leathery achene will form (4, 5, 6).
Compound: Abe x gra
Geographic Origin: Italy
Ecozone Origin: Palearctic
Biome Origin:
Natural History: Abelia x grandiflora was named by botanist and dendrologist Alfred Rehder, and published in the Cyclopedia of American Horticulture 1: 1. 1900 (7). Previously, it was called Abelia rupestris fo. grandiflora, and included in Revue Horticole (Paris) 56: 488. 1886, by Renato Rovelli (8). The Abelia x grandiflora hybrid originated in Italy, likely before 1866, but it was not officially introduced until 1886 (9). Since the hybridization event, over 30 cultivars of A. grandiflora have been developed (10). The genus Abelia is named for naturalist Dr. Clarke Abel, who accompanied Lord Amherst’s embassy to China in 1816. While all of the resulting seed and plants were lost on the homeward voyage, living Abelia chinensis were transported to England in 1844 by Robert Fortune. The following year, the second parent of Abelia x grandiflora, Abelia uniflora followed (11). The specific epithet grandiflora means “large flowered”, for the grand clusters of inflorescences that form (2).
Cultivation Notes: Abelia x grandiflora should be planted in full sun (12), as shade will cause the shrub to become thin, assume a wider spread, and reduce flowering (3). Additionally, A. grandiflora is frost tender and must be sited in a sheltered location to protect from freeze damage (13). The best growth results from using well drained, acidic soil that is enriched with organic mulch, and kept moist (9, 3). However, if given the correct care, A. grandiflora has a high tolerance for most chemical and physical soil characteristics including clay, loam, sand, and both slightly high and low pH levels (14). It is forgiving of erosion, but does poorly in salty soil (2, 14). Once established, Abelia x grandiflora requires very little maintenance, and pruning is only necessary in order to maintain shape of leggy specimens. If desired, selective pruning to thin the canopy may encourage branching to create a broader form (3). Hard pruning is also tolerated every few years and the shrub usually adapts after transplanting (15, 13). Avoid pruning after spring growth has begun (16) – instead, prune in late winter to early spring, to avoid destroying new growth (13). Abelia x grandiflora may be sterile (6), and therefore is propagated by cuttings (1), or by roots (5). Propagate by softwood cuttings in early summer, and semi-hardwood in late summer (13).
Ethnobotany: A. grandiflora has many uses in cultivation, such as in shrub borders, hedging, or as a foundation plant (9). It is often sited in banks to control erosion (9), and in western France for roadside plantings (17). In addition, A. grandiflora is often planted to attract butterflies (9), or used by bee-keepers to attract bees (5). Medicinally, the seeds of A. grandiflora, along with buffalo milk, have been used in India to treat hematuria. A variety of antimicrobial properties are also possessed by the plant, and it is capable of inhibiting the growth of pathogens, including E. coli and P. pneumonia (5).

Height: 0 - 5 feet
Width: 0 - 5 feet
Growth Rate: Moderate Growing
Grow Season:
Flower Season: Spring
Color: White
Function: Accent
Spread: Non-spreading
Allergen: Non-allergenic
Invasive: Benign
Toxicity: Benign
Hardy: Tender
Water Use: Moderate Water Use

Citations:
 1. University of Connecticut. Retrieved April 1st, 2020.

 2. Missouri Botanical Garden. Retrieved April 1st, 2020.
 3. John D. Griffin Horticultural Garden. Retrieved April 1st, 2020.
 4. The Morton Arboretum. Retrieved April 1st, 2020.
 5. Botany Today. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
 6. The Spruce. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
 7. Abelia x grandiflora (Rovelli ex Andre) Rehder, Tropicos. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
 8. Abelia rupestris fo. grandiflora Rovelli ex Andre, Tropicos. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
 9. Arbor Day Foundation. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
10. Piedmont Master Gardeners. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
11. Ballyrobert Gardens. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
12. AUB Landscape Plant Database. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
13. Gardenia. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
14. University of Florida. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
15. Sunset. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
16. Extension Master Gardener. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
17. Medicinal Plants of America. Retrieved April 2nd, 2020.
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Abelia x grandiflora