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Shrub to 3 m, branches with 2 hairy ridges when young. Leaves elliptic or oblong-lanceolate or obovate 4–6 x 1.5–3 cm, apex acuminate, base cuneate or rounded margin shallowly serrate, upper surface, sparsely hairy with densely hairy midrib and veins, lower surface densely hairy on midrib and veins, lateral veins 4–6, petiole 0.2–0.3 cm, glabrous. Flowers solitary. Pedicel 1–1.5 cm long, hairy, bracts linear, 2–5 mm long, hairy, persistent. Calyx tube 5–lobed, radially symmetric, lanceolate, free half of length, 0.4–1 x ca. 0.1 cm, sparsely hairy. Corolla funnel–shaped, 3–3.5 x ca. 1 cm, gradually widening from the base, dark rose–red outside, lighter red inside, sparsely hairy outside. Corolla tube 2.2–2.9 cm, hairy inside, throat yellow, upper part of tube distinctly expanded, corolla 5–lobed, radially symmetric, irregulate lanceolate, 0.6–0.8 cm long (ca 20–25% of length of corolla tube). Stamen longer than corolla, filaments 0.8–1.3 cm long, glabrous; anthers, free, linear ca 0.5 cm, yellow. Style longer than corolla, 3–3.5 cm long, glabrous, stigma disk–like, 2–3 mm diameter. Fruit cylindrical, curved 2–2.5 cm long, dehiscing from apex, glabrous. Seeds oblong, 1.5 mm long, with angled ridges.
Based on Iwatsuki, K. (ed) (1993)
Flowers: May to June.
Fruits: July to September.
Distribution China Heilongjiang, Henan, N Jiangsu, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Shaanxi, N Shandong, Shanxi Japan Kyushu (Fukuoka Prefecture, Mount Koshozan) North Korea South Korea Russia Primorsky Krai
Habitat Mixed forest scrub 100 -1500 m
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
A shrub 6 to 9 ft high, of spreading habit and arching branches; young shoots with two lines of short hairs. Leaves oval or oval-lanceolate, long-pointed, toothed except at the base, felted on the midrib beneath, 2 to 41⁄2 in. long, 3⁄4 to 11⁄2 in. wide, very shortly stalked. Flowers often in terminal threes or fours on short lateral twigs. Corolla funnel-shaped, 11⁄4 in. long, with five spreading rounded lobes at the mouth, where it is as much in diameter, deep rose on the outside, paler and becoming almost white within; stigma bilobed. Calyx divided to about the middle into five narrowly triangular lobes. Ovary slightly downy. Bot. Mag., t. 4396.
Native of N. China and Korea; described by Bunge from plants cultivated in Peking gardens; Fortune first saw it in the garden of a mandarin on the island of Chusan, and purchased a plant from a Shanghai nursery which he sent to the Horticultural Society in 1844. Revisiting the nursery some years later he was asked by the nurseryman and his sons how this and the other plants he bought had thrived. ‘I told them that most of the plants had arrived safely in England, that they had been greatly admired, and that the beautiful Weigela had even attracted the notice of her Majesty the Queen. All these statements, more particularly the last, seemed to give them great pleasure; and they doubtless fancied the Weigela of more value ever afterwards.’ (Fortune, Gard. Chron., 1850, p. 757).
For half a century or more after its introduction W. florida was the commonest of the weigelas in gardens, but has now largely given way to its cultivars and hybrids. Most of the latter with pink or carmine flowers derive from it.
cv. ‘Foliis Purpureis’~~~A low-growing shrub. Leaves dark green with a metallic lustre, flushed with purple. Flowers pink; ovaries dark purple. Raised in France from Chinese seed (Rev. Hort., 1921, pp. 278-9).
During their visit to South Korea the collectors mentioned above also gathered seeds of both this species and the related W. praecox (the latter previously known in Britain only by the plants originally distributed by the French nurseryman Lemoine). The seeds of W. florida were collected on Mount Pukhan, north-west of Seoul (B.E. & C. 206); those of W. praecox from a plant some 2 ft high and wide growing in a rock crevice in the Mount Odae National Park, Kangwon province (B.E. & C. 157).
Hybrids (page 747)
† ‘Evita’. – This notable introduction resembles ‘Eva Rathke’ in the colour of its flowers (and is probably a seedling of it), but is of dense, spreading habit, to 2 ft or so high. The main flowering season is in the first half of June, but there is some display later in the summer on mature plants. Raised in Holland.
† ‘Mont Blanc’. Lemoine, 1898; W. florida × W. japonica (or W. hortensis). – Flowers large, white ageing to pink.
Diervilla florida var. venusta Rehd.
W. venusta (Rehd.) Stapf
Differs from Weigela florida in that it has smaller obovate leaves that are glabrous.
RHS Hardiness Rating: H5
A graceful shrub to 6 or 9 ft high, differing from the typical state in its smaller, obovate leaves. Corolla narrowing rather more gradually towards the base. Introduced to the Arnold Arboretum by J. G. Jack in 1905 from Korea, of which it is a native. Plants cultivated in Britain probably all derive from the seeds collected by Wilson in Korea in 1918. Bot. Mag., t. 9080.