Enkianthus campanulatus, redvein enkianthus, is a deciduous shrub or small tree in the Heath family, Ericaceae. Find facts and information on growing and caring for Enkianthus campanulatus and a list of some of the most popular varieties.
Enkianthus Campanulatus Facts
Enkianthus is enjoyed by many people because of its dense, hanging clusters of urnlike flowers that look like tiny lanterns. It also has rich red fall color on leaves that look whorled at the branch tips. As originally from Japan, it grows in Zones 5-8. Enkianthus requires full sun to partial shade with moist, cool soil in the south where extreme heat and dry conditions can stress the plant, leaving it susceptible to spider mites.
When necessary, you should cut out any deadwood and trim the branches to look their best. This should be done right after flowering to prevent removal of next year’s blooms. In other locations, it is not subject to particular pests or diseases, and it is somewhat deer resistant. This slow-growing, deciduous shrub, which blooms on old wood, has an interesting upright, tiered, form that opens toward the base as it matures.
It has simple, alternate leaves, measuring around 3” by 1”. They are bunched at the end of the stems, and are dark green when in season. They have beautiful fall colors of red, yellow, and orange that is often long lasting. You will find that the fall color will vary on shrubs raised from seeds. Attractive, bright red young stems turn brownish with age. The flowers, 1/3 to 1/2” wide, are held in hanging clusters near the branch tips. These cream-colored blooms have red veins and a reddish flush near the tip. The enkianthus flowers can last for weeks, starting out pale, then to a deep rosy red as flowering progresses. The fruit capsules, however, are not ornamental in the least.
Uses of Enkianthus Campanulatas
The Redvein enkianthus is often used in beds and borders. They can be grouped with companion plants such as rhododendrons and azalea. These shrubs all have similar growing conditions making it easier to grow together. Other uses, include foundation plantings, or as plants near paths and doorways.
Favorite Enkianthus Species and Varieties
- Enkianthus campanulatus ‘Arbiflorus’- has creamy white flowers on a vigorous plant. It grows 6-10’ high by 5-8’ wide.
- E. campanulatus ‘Red Bells’- has red-veined creamy blooms with rich red tips and red to red-orange fall color. It grows 6-10’ h x 5-8’w.
- E. campanulatus var. Sikokianus- has maroon buds, pinky-orange-veined, brick red blooms, and bright red stems in winter. 6-10’ h x 5-8’w.
- E. campanulatus, (white enkianthus), has white pendulous flower clusters in late spring, red fall color; good, though rather rare, a good shrub for small landscapes. In Zones 6-8, it reaches 6’ high.