Loropetalum, not Laura Pedlum nor Lora Petlum

One of the most frequent searches that land searchers on my blog is for ‘Laura Pedlum’ a fictional character if there ever was one.

Loropetalum chinense is a popular landscape item in the south. Some of the banks in town have huge plants that are pruned into rounds and squares, flying saucers and Jackie Kennedy’s hat replicas. All that shearing cuts away much of the lovely rose to fuchsia fringes that make it stand out.

White fringes and green leaves. Some of the leaves turn red during the winter on all the different cultivars.

When they were first popular, nobody really knew what great heights they would achieve. Dr. Dirr dismissed the white as hardly worthy of noble gardens. Now white Loropetalum is ‘new’ again.

Loropetalum in the foreground, a small tree underneath a live oak to the left.

In case you wonder, the line of trees are bird-planted trees that grew up in an old fence that was removed. Live oak, deciduous oak times 2, and 3 pecans. Beyond the last pecan tree is a planting of 3 Loropetalums.

One of the great things about Loropetalum is that it has year-round interest — that’s it! My signature plant for Diana’s Dozen. Just before azaleas bloom in the spring, Loropetalum puts on a great shawl of dark pink fringes that lasts past the azalea show. When the fringes are finally done, the foliage mostly turns purple for summer and fall. The white Loropetalum foliage is how you distinguish a white seedling — the foliage is always green or olive. Little pink fringes appear all through summer and fall, it is almost never without a few, just not the coverage of the spring show. This balmy winter we’ve had pink fringes almost continuously.

Here loropetalum frames a Camellia in the distance. This particular plant is smack up against a big Crape Myrtle and covers the bare bones of that Crape in the winter.

Loropetalum is hardy in zones 7b to 9. A hard winter may cause a young unprotected plant to drop its leaves, I have experienced that here in zone 8b. Good companions for Loropetalum in my garden are Crape Myrtles, Floribunda Roses and Tecoma stans.

All pictures are from my garden today.

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2 Comments

  1. one of my favorites. but I hate it what people are doing to it in my area, chopping it into a box shaped ‘foundation planting’. ugh-ly! love your pictures 🙂

  2. I didn’t know this plant at all! Thank you… It’s on my wishlist now…

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