Purple-flowered shrub, favorite of bees

Discussion in 'Plants: Identification' started by Ken R, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

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    This forum is so good, it feels like cheating to tap into your collective knowledge. People should have to work harder for their plant IDs!

    Nonetheless, I'm posting again.

    This plant is a three- to four-foot shrub. It has very fine, grayish twigs. It is among the last things to leaf out in the spring, and its buds are hidden or very small, so for two springs I've worried that it didn't overwinter.

    When it does leaf out, it has small, entire, opposite leaves.

    The flowers come in June and have five petals fused to form a purple trumpet, about an inch long.

    The bees, particularly the bumblebees, go nuts over it, but the flower openings are too small for the bumblebees to crawl into, so I'm surprised that the flowers are so attractive to them.

    Sorry for the quality of the photos. I snapped them in a rush before my wife took off with the camera.

    Name that plant!
     

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  2. Takana_Hana

    Takana_Hana Active Member 10 Years

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    maybe spirea??
     
  3. L.plant

    L.plant Active Member

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    Maybe Abelia
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Leptodermis oblonga.
     
  5. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

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    Thanks very much for the three replies.

    Looking at images on the internet, I think Abelia is most probable.

    The flowers don't really look like Spirea. And the shrub seems a little large (3 to 4 feet) to be a Leptodermis oblonga (which some sites say is usually 1 to 2 feet).

    Also I see that Abelia is in the honeysuckle family, and the unopened blossoms do bear a strong resemblence to unopened honeysuckle flowers.

    Still, I'm in doubt, and if it is an Abelia, I don't know which Abelia it might be. It doesn't seem to be the grandiflora.

    Any further guidance or thoughts would be welcome.
     
  6. Ken R

    Ken R Active Member

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    Apologies to Ron B. I found the same plant growing at a local garden park (Green Springs, Fairfax County Virginia). It's Leptodermis oblonga.
     

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