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Abelia Shrubs (Abelia spp.)
Abelia shrubs have few rivals in the landscape that can match their versatility and durability. This workhorse in the garden is a go-to landscape plant, which offers even novice gardeners an easy-care alternative to high-maintenance shrubs. As a member of the honeysuckle plant family, Abelias have nodding, bell-shaped flowers, which are produced in profusion over the shrubs. The flowers may be white, pink, raspberry or lavender, depending on cultivar. Regardless of flower color, Abelia has a long blooming season. These shrubs may begin flowering as early as April as they continue to produce flowers that may persist through October in warm climates, or until the first frost nips the blooms. Even Abelia’s foliage covers a wide color spectrum (depending on cultivar), with leaves that may be green, plum, coppery pink, purplish green or even variegated. Depending on your climate and the specific Abelia cultivar, you’ll find evergreen and deciduous types. There’s an Abelia sized to fit any garden, with heights as compact as 2 feet or as tall as 8 feet.
It’s hard to find a shrub for your landscape that is heat-tolerant, drought-tolerant, disease-resistant, deer-resistant and insect-resistant. But aside from this laundry list of Abelia’s merits, perhaps its highest value in the garden is that of attracting butterflies and hummingbirds. As a veritable magnet for these winged creatures, Abelia shrubs give beauty and motion to the garden when they explode in a flurry of activity from butterflies and hummingbirds that can’t resist its flowers.