With its spicy scent and peachy pink flowers, a new introduction can warm up your late summer borders
Abelias are valuable evergreen shrubs for small gardens. Their foliage is neat and glossy, they never grow too large and their slightly-scented flowers open for an unusually long period in summer and autumn.
Most of the familiar varieties have clusters of white flowers tinged with pink, sometimes opening from pink buds. They often have a reddish cup around the flower that continues to provide colour after the flowers themselves have fallen.
In recent years, most of the developments in abelias have come through the introduction of coloured-leaf forms. There are a number of variegated varieties as well as those with limey-yellow or golden leaves. Now comes the first abelia with yellow flowers.
A neat and bushy shrub, A. 'Sunny Charms'* reaches about 1.2m (4ft) in height and 90cm (3ft) in width so it's a fine plant for a sunny patio border or large container. It enjoys fertile soil that is moist but not soggy. From July to October, you can enjoy a succession of long-lasting, flared flowers with a sweet and spicy fragrance. Each individual bloom lasts up to two weeks. They're yellow on the inside, with pink and orange splashes and speckles, and pink on the outside.
A. 'Sunny Charms' was selected by French hardy nursery stock specialist, Pépinières Minier from a batch of open-pollinated seedlings in 2007. The seed came from an unnamed plant of Abelia x grandiflora and it's thought that the other parent was a different form of the same species. The unusual yellow colouring seems to hark back to the bold orange markings of A. uniflora, one of the original parents of A. x grandiflora.
Use RHS Plant Finder for suppliers of Abelia 'Sunny Charms'
*The correct styling for this plant is Abelia Sunny Charms = 'Mindu01'
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