Weigela 'Rubidor'
 
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Family: Hoenysuckle family (Caprifoliaceae)
Native Habitat: Japan

 

Weigela is one of those old fashioned shrubs that your grandmother may have grown in her garden. Originally introduced into western horticulture in 1860, the older varieties were grown for only one reason: their wonderful display of brightly colored flowers in mid-spring. After two or three weeks the blooms were done for the year and for the rest of the growing season a nondescript, fairly large-growing, green shrub was left. A lack of any significant fall color and the ungraceful and coarse branching pattern evident in winter made them strictly a "one hit wonder". Hardiness of these older types was also somewhat suspect with Zone 5 their northern limits and winter injury occurring occasionally even there.

In the last 30 years, the plant breeders have really gotten busy with Weigleas and many new varieties have arrived on the scene. Improved hardiness, extended flowering seasons, and especially, brightly colored foliage have been the focus of most of the breeding work. 'Rubidor' has perhaps the brightest colored leaves of any of the new cultivars. When in full bloom, you may want to don sunglasses before viewing this shrub. This is not a subtle shrub. The bright-golden leaves and crimson buds opening to deep-pink flowers fairly shout "look at me, look at me". Its probably not the easiest plant to place in a garden but when done right the result can be downright brilliant.

Ornamental Characteristics: Bright-golden leaves hold their color all season. Crimson-red buds open to deep-pink flowers in mid-spring. Heavy bloomer. Flower buds and then blooms are effective for 3 to 4 weeks.
Habit & Growth Rate: Multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a medium to fast growth rate. Can grow to 5 or 6 ft. high and wide.
Landscape Uses: Shrub border, mixed border, hedging, foundation plantings. Deer resistant.
Hardiness: Zone 5 to 8.
Culture: Easily grown in ordinary garden soil. Full sun to light shade. Foliage color is best in full sun.