Name that flower: It wasn't a flower

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pieris Japonica
Andromeda Japonica
Photo by Lee Lageschulte
Yesterday's photo by Lee Lageschulte was not flowers, as I thought, but leaves that turn color. Many people (thank you all!) identified it as a Pieris Japonica, often called Andromeda Japonica, with new growth leaves changing the color of the bush.

Following is information submitted by readers:

The new growth is red and matures to green passing through the yellow phase. The flower is actually a lily of the valley type cluster.

Pieris japonica is a broadleaf evergreen shrub that typically matures to 9-12’ tall with a dense, upright habit. It features drooping clusters (racemes to 6” long) of lily-of-the-valley-like white flowers in early spring. Serrulate, oblanceolate to obovate-oblong leaves (to 3.5” long) emerge orange-bronze but mature to glossy dark green. Leaves are evergreen. Bead-like flower buds are set in late summer for the following year and provide winter interest and contrast to the evergreen foliage. Many cultivars are available featuring flowers in various shades of white, pink and deep rose. 
Synonymous with and sometimes sold as Andromeda japonica.
Genus name is the name of one of the Greek Muses.
Specific epithet means of Japan.
It has white bell shaped flowers in the winter. The variety appears to be 'Forest Flame'.

It is actually a pieris japonica – commonly called a mountain fire bush.  

The pink which you are referring to as “flowers” are actually the new growth leaves which appear in the spring. The flowers they get are long white strands of little dots that look completely different than the leaf.


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