As a base layer, the colour brown dominates at this time of year. Ideal as a foundation layer to the glitz of Christmas. Stephanandra tanakae has fine warmth of colouration in the receding leaves. The sterile sepals of the Lacecap Hydrangea, H. macrophylla ‘Lilacina’ remain throughout winter protecting the dormant buds beneath. Now brown, in good light on a winter day the remains of the lilac pigment show through. To make up a trio the even russet brown of the leaves on Magnolia ‘Elizabeth’ contrast with the felt white terminal buds.
Stephanandra tanakae a deciduous shrub with long arching growth. Native to Honshu Japan where it was seen growing on steep NE facing rocky cliffs at 920m. Here only attaining 1m x 1m in size. In our deeper, more fertile soil the plants are reaching 2m x 2m and producing a mass of small white flowers contained in terminal panicles. Ideally grow in full sun where the flowers are much more prolifically produced than in a shaded situation. Foliage a fresh mid green with a serrated edge.