Leucothoe fontanesiana ‘Rainbow’

I purchased this native about 25 years ago from a local nursery (as ‘Girard’s Rainbow’) and planted it under the hemlocks in back. I’ve always enjoyed seeing the variegated leaves, bronze new foliage, and the long white strands of flowers in the spring.

It’s evergreen, so the color is nice to have in winter as well. I only wish I had given it more space — the clump is probably three feet tall by twelve feet wide and encroaching on the Geranium macrorrhizum and Cimicifuga ‘White Pearl’ (that’s right, I called it a Cimicifuga, you taxonomic heathens).

It did so well that I went on a Leucothoe kick in 2002/2003. I bought L. fontanesiana ‘Nana’, L. keiskei, L. keiskei ‘Royal Ruby’, and L. racemosa. Of all of those, only L.keiskei survived and continues to limp along under the shade of a cedar..

But maybe I’ll have to try again. I really do like this genus.

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