Gardeners are often looking for deer resistant plants that have landscape appeal throughout the growing season. Plant breeders have responded with the development of new varieties such as two new cultivars developed from the Chinese Abelia.
The genus is named after Clarke Abel (1780-1826) who was a physician and author who loved China. But the shrubby abelias have come a long way since they were first discovered. The latest new varieties were developed a few years ago at the University of Georgia.
Rose Creek Abelia
‘Rose Creek’ Abelia has evergreen leaves that look pink toned at first but by late summer and through winter they look purplish. Repeated clusters of fragrant white tubular shaped flowers are produced all through the growing season. Below each flower there is a light pink calyx so that color remains even after the flowers fade. The plant grows into a mounded shape 2-3 feet tall and at least 3 feet wide with reddish stems and flowers from May through frost. It is an excellent choice for shrub borders and foundation plantings.
There is also the taller 4-6 foot variety called ‘Canyon Creek’ with coppery pink leaves turning to yellow then to green with light pink flowers throughout the growing season.