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Abelia floribunda Decne.

Modern name

Vesalea floribunda M.Martens & Galeotti

An evergreen shrub 6 to 10 ft high in a wild state, but frequently more on walls in this country; young shoots reddish, downy. Leaves ovate to roundish ovate, 34 to 134 in. long, 12 to 1 in. broad, shallowly toothed, pointed, firm in texture; glossy green and glabrous on both surfaces, but paler beneath; hairy only on the margin; stalk 18 in. or less long. Flowers pendulous, rosy-red to magenta, produced in June at or near the end of short twigs which spring from the year-old wood. Corolla slenderly funnel-shaped, narrowing towards the base, 112 to 2 in. long, nearly 1 in. wide at the mouth, where are five rounded, spreading lobes. Sepals five, green, linear-oval, 13 in. long. Stamens hairy. Bot. Mag., t. 4316.

Native of Mexico on the Cordilleras of Oaxaca at 10,000 ft, also found in the neighbouring states of Veracruz and Puebla; introduced to Europe in 1841. This is the handsomest of the abelias that can be grown out-of-doors with us, but it needs the protection of a wall. At Kew, a plant growing against the wall of a greenhouse has flourished for many years and flowers well most seasons, but it is quite unable to live in the open unprotected. For a south wall this shrub, with its shining leaves and gay flowers, is most attractive. In the milder countries it will reach a height of 20 ft, but good specimens have become rare since the hard winters of 1961-3, when A. floribunda was killed or badly damaged nearly everywhere.

Abelia floribunda

Abelia floribunda

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

Plants sometimes offered in garden centres under this name may be A. × grandiflora.



Other species in the genus