Abelia chinensis 
Abelia chinensis is believed to be the first species within the genus to be described. The genus name commemorates Dr Clarke-Abel, surgeon to the celebrated Amherst mission to China in 1816. Dr Clarke-Abel acquired seeds of the species, but lost them along with his other collections when the HMS Alceste was shipwrecked off the island of Lee-Chew (modern day Okinawa). Fortunately, he had given a plant to a friend, though it was another 26 years before the abelia was brought under cultivation and introduced to the British gardening public (1844). Luckily it is one of the most cold-resistant species within the genus

Abelia chinensis was named and described by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown (1773 – 1858), and published in 'Narrative of a Journey in the Interior of Chinathe' in 1818.

Commonly known as the Chinese abelia, it is commonly found across central and eastern China, Taiwan and Japan. It is a compact semi-evergreen to deciduous shrub (depending on how cold it gets), capable of a height and spread of between 1-1.5 metres. It has reddish stems and neat, oval, dark green leaves which turn reddish-brown before autumn. Clusters of slightly fragrant, white flowers with pink sepals which are freely produced from July to October.

When planting it will require a sheltered, south or east-facing aspect in full sun. It will be happy growing in most garden soils so long as they are moist, yet well drained.

Abelia chinensis received the Award of Merit(AM) from the Royal Horticultural Society in 1976.

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