September 28, 2012

Plant Spotlight: Kaleidoscope Abelia

Its fall again. The air is crisp and the garden is coming back to life for one last show before its time to settle down for winter. One of the first plants to come to back to life this fall is Abelia 'Kaleidoscope', one of my all-time favorite foliage plants.

Since its introduction a decade ago, the Kaleidoscope Abelia has secured a spot in many southern gardens. Its evergreen foliage is a lime green with touches of cream and coral that become more evident in fall and winter. Although the foliage is the star, its delicate white flowers, a bumblebee favorite, bloom from spring to fall. In my full sun garden I usually get the best peaks in the cooler seasons, and with the recent cool nights they have burst into bloom.

The great thing about Kaleidoscope Abelia, and what makes it so versatile in the garden,  is its compact size. At only 3ft tall and 4-5ft wide, it makes a great accent shrub and is a favorite for foundation plantings or front yard beds for year round color. Paired with the dark purple foliage of a barberry it really steals the show!