Mystery Plant – February 2010

Photo/Illustration: Steve Aitken

If you know the genus and species of this month’s mystery plant, you could win a free year’s subscription to Fine Gardening. Send your entry, along with your complete mailing address, by February 28 to [email protected]. The winner will be chosen at random from all correct entries.

Photo/Illustration: Michelle Gervais

Last month’s mystery plant was beauty bush (Kolkwitzia amabilis, USDA Hardiness Zones 5-9). This late-spring- to early-summer-flowering shrub is native to China and prefers full sun and well-drained soil. It grows to 10 feet tall and 12 feet wide. Beauty bush’s fountain-like shape is especially charming when the shrub is in bloom, but it’s generally considered coarse and leggy in winter or when more than a few years old. You can rejuvenate this shrub by pruning it after it flowers, removing up to a third of the shoots at the base to encourage fresh growth. Laurel Magrini of Raritan, New Jersey, was chosen at random from all correct entries to receive a free one-year subscription to Fine Gardening. Congratulations, Laurel!

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