Thicket-forming shrub to 1.5 m × 1.5 m, much like D. lonicera but differing in its quadrangular stems, flushed red when young, hairy at the nodes. Leaves ovate-lanceolate, 6–18 cm × 2.5–7.5 cm, apex tapering, margins entire, more or less sessile, midrib with hairs beneath. Cymes several-flowered in a dense cluster. Flowers sulphur-yellow, turning dull with age, to 1.5 cm long. Fruits not persisting as long as in D. lonicera (Bean 1981; Cullen et al. (eds) 2011).
Distribution United States Southern Appalachians, from North Carolina and Tennessee south to northern South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.
Habitat The most common species in the southern Appalachians, where it is commonly found on high-elevation balds, roadsides, and in other rocky places. It is occasionally found at lower elevations in cool habitat types, such as along watercourses and shorelines.
USDA Hardiness Zone 5b
RHS Hardiness Rating H6
For a general discussion see the genus article.
Hatch describes this cultivar as being generally more lustrous than the type, with flowers of a darker and richer yellow, and with darker green leaves that can appear tinged purple in cold weather. This cultivar was very recently crossed with Weigela florida which will no doubt yield many interesting selections in the coming years (Hatch 2017).
Synonyms / alternative names
Diervilla sessilifolia 'LPDC Podaras'
This selection arose from a chance seedling and has cream-white margined leaves with a dark grey-green centre. It grows from c. 0.7–1.3 m in height and spread (Dirr 2009). An example at Scampston Hall, Yorkshire, UK, is reverting freely, but the combination of variegated and non-variegated shoots still manages to be effective (pers. obs.).