|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Enkianthus (Greek pregnant and flower, referring to the colored involucre which subtends the flowers of E. quinqueflorus, giving the appearance of small flowers springing from a larger flower). Also written Enkyanthus. Ericaceae. Ornamental woody plants, chiefly grown for their handsome flowers and the brilliant autumnal tints of the foliage.
Deciduous, rarely evergreen shrubs with whorled branches: Lvs. alternate, usually serrulate, crowded toward the end of the branchlets: fls. in terminal umbels or racemes; sepals 5, small; corolla campanulate or urceolate, usually 5-lobed; stamens 10; anthers 2-awned at the apex, opening with short slits: fr. a dehiscent caps.; cells 1- to few-seeded; seeds 3-5- winged or -angled.—About 10 species in China and Japan, Cochin-China and Himalayas. Closely related to Pieris and Zenobia; chiefly distinguished by the few- or 1-seeded cells of the caps, and the winged or angled seeds.
These are charming ornamental shrubs, with bright green, medium-sized leaves turning brilliant colors in autumn and with handsome white, red or yellow-and- red, drooping flowers appearing in spring; the flowers are not of the showy kind, but very graceful and of distinct appearance. Most of the cultivated species, as E. campanulatus, E. cernuus, E. perulatus and E. subsessilis, have proved hardy in Massachusetts; they seem to grow well in any well-drained humid soil, but probably are impatient of lime, as are most Ericaceae and in limestone regions should be grown in specially prepared beds of peaty soil. Propagation is by seeds sown in spring, by cuttings of ripe wood under glass in spring, or by greenwood cuttings in summer; also by layers. CH
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Pests and diseases
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E. chinensis, Franch. (E. himalaicus var. chinensis. Diels). Allied to E. campanulatus. Lvs. quite glabrous, more crenately serrate: racemes glabrous; corolla yellow and red, with darker red lobes. Cent, and W. China.—E.deflexus. Schneid. (E. himalaicus. Hook. f. & Thorns.). Closely related to E. campanulatus. Lvs. elliptic-ovate to elliptic-lanceolate, acute, slightly serrate, margin and petioles red while young: racemes many-fld.; corolla yellow, striped dark red, with darker lobes. Himalayas. W. China.—E. himalaicus. Hook. f. A Thorns. =E. deflexus and E. chinensis.—E. nikoensis, Makino =E. subsessilis.— E. quinqueflorus. Lour. (E. reticulatus, Lindl.). Lvs. elliptic, long-petioled, entire, persistent: fls. about 5, in umbela, subtended by colored bracts, drooping; corolla campanulate, scarlet. 8. China, Cochin-China. Tender. Var. serrulatus, Wilson (E. serrulatus. Schneid.). Lvs. deciduous, membranous, finely serrulate: fls. smaller. Cent, and S. W. China.—E. reticulatus: Lindl.=E. quinqueflorus.—E. serrulatus, Schneid. E. quinqueflorus var. serrulatus.—E. subsessilis, Makino (E. nikoensis, Makino). Allied to E. perulatus. Lvs. short-petioled, elliptic or obovate: fls. in pendulous racemes, small, white. ⅕ in. long. June. Japan.—This is the least attractive in bloom, but the autumnal tints of the foliage are as beautiful as in the other species. CH
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963