By: C. Colston Burrell
Abelia is a type of

Abelia Edward Goucher, a hybrid abelia, was created in 1911 at the Glenn Dale Plant Introduction Center by Edward Goucher from a complex cross involving several species. It was the best abelia of its time -- and still retains that first place today.

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Description of abelia: This semievergreen shrub (it loses its leaves in the northern part of its growing area) is small in size: 4 feet is the average maximum, although it can attain 5 feet in a good location. It forms a dense, rounded shrub with lustrous, dark green leaves in summer, taking on a purplish tinge in winter. The fragrant tubular flowers, purple-pink in color, are borne profusely for much of the summer and early fall.

Growing abelia: Plant in full sun or half shade in moist, acid soil. The shrub should be protected from cold winter winds, especially at the northern limits of its territory. It can be pruned in spring, since it blooms on new wood, although it looks best if pruned selectively rather than sheared.

Uses for abelia: Its lacy appearance and long blooming season make it a good choice for a spot of honor in the yard. The abelia makes a good foundation and accent plant and combines well with broad-leaf evergreens. It is sometimes used as a hedge in the South. The plant attracts hummingbirds with its tubular blossoms.

Abelia related species: Abelia x grandiflora is one of the parents of Edward Goucher. It is just as attractive, with slightly larger white flowers, flushed pink. A. chinensis has a stiff, upright form with dense flower clusters.

: Abelia Edward Goucher