Ceratostigma willmottianum

Chinese Shrub Leadwort

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Item #: 1338

Zones: 6b to 9b, at least

Dormancy: Winter

Height: 36" tall

Culture: Sun to Part Sun

Origin: China, Tibet

Pot Size: 3.5" pot (24 fl. oz/0.7 L)

Ceratostigma willmottianum is one of those perennials we simply wouldn't garden without. Hailing from Tibet to Central China, this subshrub forms a 3' tall x 3' wide mass of stiff, upright-arching cinnamon-red stems, clothed with small fingernail-sized green leaves, which turn brilliant red before dropping in late fall. From mid-summer through October (NC), the plants are adorned with terminal clusters of true, cobalt-blue flowers. Chinese leadwort thrives in an array of well drained soils in full to part sun. With winter temperatures drop below 10 degrees F, the plants die to the ground. The specific epithet commemorates English gardener/plantswoman Ellen Ann Willmott (1858-1934). The first plants in cultivation trace back to Ernest Wilson's collections in Sichuan.