Pieris floribunda – Mountain Fetterbush

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Scientific Name

Pieris floribunda (Pursh) Benth. & Hook. f.

Common Names

Mountain Fetterbush, Mountain Andromeda, Mountain Pieris

Synonyms 

Andromeda floribunda (basionym), Andromeda montana, Andromeda vaccinifolia, Leucothoe floribunda, Portuna floribunda, Zenobia floribunda

Scientific Classification

Family: Ericaceae
Genus: Pieris

Flower

Color: White
Bloom Time: Autumn

Description

Pieris floribunda is a bushy shrub up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall, with oval shiny, leathery leaves which are normally evergreen, but may shed in a harsh winter to brown and persist until spring. It has erect or erect with just slightly nodding panicles of white, urn-shaped flowers that form in autumn as erect pink buds. The brown, dry fruit is a slightly angled globular capsule up to 0.5 inch (13 mm) long in autumn and persisting until late April. The gray-brown bark is shaggy and peeling when mature.

Pieris floribunda - Mountain Fetterbush

Photo via flickr.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zone 4a to 8b: from −30 °F (−34.4 °C) to 20 °F (−6.7 °C).

How to Grow and Care

As they are originally from a forested habitat they do best in dappled shade. Strong sun in early spring can burn the tender new growth. They will not do too well in full shade as they won’t produce as many flowers and the color of the new growth won’t be as intense. They need well-drained but moisture retentive humus-rich acid soil. If you have an alkaline soil you will have to grow it in a pot; you can add ericaceous compost and feed and mulch with pine needles but it will only be temporary and an alkaline soil will always be an alkaline soil.

They are a hardy shrub but it may need some protection from late frosts which will burn the new growth and flowers. The frost probably won’t kill the plant but it will mar the spring display which is usually the main reason it is grown.

Plant them to the same depth as they are in the pot and water well. Keep an eye on the watering in the first season, particularly if there is a long dry spell… – See more at: How to Grow and Care for a Lily of the Valley Bush

Origin

Native to the eastern United States, primarily the southern Appalachian Mountains in the States of Tennessee, North and South Carolina, Georgia, Virginia and West Virginia.

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