Zenobia pulverulenta

 Zenobia pulverulenta      copyright  2002 Mark McDonough

 Zenobia pulverulenta is a genus with just a single species, a distinctive member of the
Ericaeae. A small growing shrub from southeastern USA (Virginia, N. Carolina, S. Carolina),
it is nonetheless hardy in much more northerly locations, to at least USDA Zone 5. I was given
this plant from someone who has grown it for years outdoors in New Hampshire. Native
to the coastal plains, in bogs and among low thickets of evergreen shrubs, this wonderful
shrub is easy to grow in sun and good garden loam, even tolerant of heat and some
drought, although appreciating good irrigation to be at it's finest.  Said to grow 4'-6' tall,
it is so slow growing that a 6' tall shrub must be very old indeed.

Flowering in June from the old wood, the pendant white bells are rather plump
and wide open, compared to the pinched bells of Vaccinium and other allied
Ericaceous shrubs.  The flowers have a light, yet enticing citrus-like fruity scent.

Zenobia pulverulenta is famous for it's striking glaucous blue-green foliage, although
there are forms with regular green leaves. Forms with nearly blue-white foliage
present a memorable sight.  My plant is seed grown, and appears to be a mostly
green-leaf form with only a touch of glaucous tendencies.  Too bad, but it's a first
class small shrub nonetheless.  In the photo below, I'm holding up a lateral
flowering branch to reveal the inside of the rotund bells.

[ Zenobia pulverulenta - blazing late fall color ]

 Zenobia pulverulenta      copyright  2002 Mark McDonough

Photos by Mark McDonough
(photos taken late June 2002)

[ Zenobia pulverulenta - blazing late fall color ]

 

 

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Questions or comments on this page?  Contact Mark McDonough at antennaria@aol.com.

Images and textual content copyright 2000 Mark McDonough

This page was last updated on 11/21/02