Seven Son Flower

Basic Information
Tree ID: 
Genus and species: 
The Seven Son Flower comes from the mountains of Central China, where it received its name for the flowers that come in clusters of seven. A cousin of the honeysuckle, this small tree is known for its colorful bark and beautiful white flowers that bloom in early fall.
Dalia Moallem
Collected Data
Tree shape: 
Date of tree entry: 
11.20 m
Diameter at breast height: 
0.30 m

The bark is very light and colorful, with stripes of tan, light brown, and other shades. In the winter, the outer layer peels off or "exfoliates" to reveal a darker layer of brown and green.
Twigs & branches
This large shrub/small tree can grow to be 15-25 feet tall. It is multi-stemmed.
Heptacodium miconoides is a deciduous tree that sheds its leaves seasonally. The leaves start to bud in early Spring (as shown in the image to the left). They are dark green, chordate shaped, and form oppositely when fully developed during May. The leaves can range in length from 7.5 to 15 cm, and about 5 cm in width.
Reproductive Structures
In the late Summer/early Fall, the buds bloom into beautiful white flowers with a fragrance that attracts butterflies to pollinate. There are usually 6 or 7 flowers in each whorl that form clusters. In mid-Fall, after the flowers are pollinated, the sepals of the flowers turn pink and lengthen to support the fruit. Both photos are taken from the internet.
After pollination, the small capsule-like fruits appear, hiding in the pink/red sepals.
  • Winter
  • Late Summer/Early Fall (taken from Google Images)
  • Fall (taken from Google Images)
Natural range of distribution: 
Heptacodium miconioides is native to the mountains of the Hubei province, China. (Photo Source: It can grow in USDA zones 5-9.
Origin, history, and uses: 

In 1907, Heptacodium miconioides was first collected in China by Ernest Wilson, a known plant collector of the time. 9 years later, Alfred Rehder, a botanist from the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, was credited for naming the tree. The tree was mainly forgotten until 1980 when botanists from the Arnold Arboretum returned to the Hubei province and collected seeds to bring to the United States. Since then, Heptacodium has become more popular, although it is still rare and considered a vulnerable population. 

Heptacodium miconioids is a hardy, deciduous shrub that sheds its flowers in late Fall. During the Winter months, the bark exfoliates to reveal a rainbow of browns, greens, and creams.
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