Maesa montana

This odd shrub came my way quite some time ago and didn’t initially make much impact. The leaves are large and a bright green but not of a particularly interesting shape so I plonked it in the garden to see what if anything interesting it could do. It has now made a shrub of about 2metres although it is supposed to get to 3 or more so it isn’t finished yet. The leaves seem to be semi-deciduous in cold winters so it is never bare. The flowers also turned out to be inconspicuous green things in spikes that arose in the axils of the leaves. However when its spikes of pink berries formed it had something to sing about. Admittedly they are a bit hidden amongst the leaves but hang around pretty well all year and in winter show out quite well. They are also great to pick for a floral arrangement. The fact that the end of each berry has a tiny dent surrounded by a persistent calyx makes them most interesting at close quarters, rather reminds me of clusters of tiny nipple pink nipples!

It seems happy in any well drained semi-shaded site that doesn’t get dry and it comes from forests in China. I have plants in 8″ pots for $38.50 so I hope my description has you titillated!  

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