Abelia floribunda is just one of approximately 30 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs native to East Asia and Mexico. Originally named and described by French botanist Joseph Decaisne (1807 – 1882), the discovery of Abelia floribunda for western science was first published in  'Flore des serres et des jardins de l'Europe'. While there is evidence to confirm that the introduction of Abelia floribunda to English gardens was in 1841, the first print of 'Flore des serres et des jardins de l'Europe' did not appear until 1845!

The genus name commemorates Dr Clarke-Abel, a British naturalist and surgeon for the celebrated Amherst mission to China in the early 19th century.

How to grow Abelia floribunda

Native to Mexico, Abelia floribunda is a tender, evergreen shrub (semi-evergreen where light frosts are experienced) which will require the protection of a sheltered south wall in even the mildest regions of Great Britain. Under favorable conditions you can expect it to reach a height and spread of between 2.5-4 metres. The glossy, mid green leaves are broadly ovate.

The blooms appear from July to October in dense, cerise clusters throughout the plant. Each flower is tubular in shape and approximately 5 cm long.

Abelia floribunda will perform best in a sunny position but will cope with semi-shade if need be. Provide a south facing position out of strong winds. It will be happy growing in most garden soils, however make sure that it is well-drained before planting. Avoid waterlogged soils.

Specimens that have outgrown their space or just need shaping can be trimmed back immediately after flowering. In all areas prone to frost, Abelia floribunda will require the protection of horticultural fleece in late autumn which can then be removed in late spring.

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