Stephanandra incisa 'Crispa'
Dwarf Cutleaf Stephanandra
 
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Family: Rose family (Rosaceae)
Native Habitat: Japan, Korea

 

This little Stephanandra is a first-class foliage plant that is especially valuable for shady situations. The 2 to 3 in. long leaves are attractively toothed and lobed. The variety name 'Crispa' means wavy or curly in Latin and refers to the manner in which the leaves curl slightly backwards. The eye-catching leaves are borne on stems colored an exquisite cinnamon-brown. Small clusters of white flowers add a bit of ornament in May and June.

Two of its most valuable qualities are its form and its shade tolerance. The thick tangle of stems forms a low mound several feet high from which spread, evenly in all directions, gracefully weeping branches that make a shrub up to 4 ft. across. Its shade tolerance is outstanding, growing well even in dense shade.

Granted, the appeal of the foliage, stems and flowers are somewhat subtle and best appreciated upon close inspection. When one first notices this shrub your thought might be "nice enough, but nothing to write home about". But then you might go ahead and plant one or two in that difficult shady area and what happens next? Surprise: as time goes by you appreciate this little gem more and more. Slowly it becomes one of your favorites. It's not fussy or demanding. It just looks good in every season. Even in winter, the uniquely colored stems and the spreading, weeping form are handsome.

Ornamental Characteristics:
Attractively toothed and lobed leaves. Cinnamon-brown colored stems. Small clusters of white flowers in May and June.
Habit & Growth Rate:
Medium to fast growth rate. Small mounding and weeping shrub growing to 2 or 3 ft. high and 3 or 4 ft. wide.
Landscape Uses: Foundation plantings, shrub border. Excellent shade tolerance. Deer resistant.
Hardiness: Zone 4 to 8
Culture:
Easily grown in average garden soils. Full sun to full shade, but most effective in shade. Soil should not dry out during the first year after transplanting. After the first year is quite drought tolerant.
Awards: Recommended Highly, Ohio Nursery & Landscape Assoc.