Abelia x grandiflora

Glossy Abelia




  • a hybrid cross between A. chinensis and A. uniflora
  • developed in Italy
  • zone 6, and warmer parts of 5

Habit and Form

  • a deciduous to semi-evergreen medium-small shrub
  • multistemmed and dense
  • arching branches
  • 3' to 6' tall and just as wide
  • often killed to the ground, but regrows each year in zone 5
  • medium texture
  • fast growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • deciduous, simple leaves
  • opposite leaf arrangement
  • 1" long leaves and half as wide
  • rounded leaf base
  • shallow, dentate leaf margins
  • dark green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • bronze winter color
  • somewhat showy


  • pinkish-white flowers
  • tubular form
  • fragrant
  • flowering starts in May then continues throughout the summer
  • attracts butterflies


  • not ornamentally significant


  • thin, gray bark
  • young stems are pubescent
  • peeling bark


  • easily transplanted
  • prefers acidic to neutral soil that is well-drained and moist
  • full sun to partial shade
  • can be heavily pruned

Landscape Uses

  • grouping or massing
  • for summer bloom
  • hedge
  • foundation planting
  • to attract butterflies


  • can look unkempt
  • no serious pest problems
  • lacks dependable cold hardiness in zone 5 or colder

ID Features

  • small buds with two pairs of scales
  • deciduous to semi-evergreen
  • multistemmed, dense shrub with arching branches
  • opposite leaf arrangement
  • shallow, dentate leaf margins
  • tubular pink flowers during summer


  • by cuttings


'Compacta' - Similar to species, except only 3' tall.

'Conti' (Confetti™) - A variegated sport reaching perhaps 2' tall with a dense, compact habit. The leaves are margined white (pinkish in winter) and it bears pure white flowers in summer. Early trials indicate that this plant may lack vigor and fail in zones colder than 7.

'Dwarf Purple' - Features green leaves that turn purplish in autumn and are retained in good quantity through winter. Blooms are pink and the habit is low and dense, under 3' tall.

'Edward Goucher' - A hybrid cultivar (between A. x grandiflora and A. schumannii) that is very popular in the trade. Flowers are deeper-colored than A. x grandiflora and purple-pink. Leaves are less lustrous and a lighter color green. Mature size is about 5' tall and wide, and the plant blooms for a long period from June to frost. Less hardy than A. x grandiflora, perhaps not the best choice for areas colder than zone 6.

'Francis Mason' - A form that has yellow-green leaves with a more intense yellow margin. Leaves in winter can look somewhat unattractive due to their color. New shoots emerge with a copper cast. A relatively heavy bloomer that reaches up to 5 feet tall

'Little Richard' - A dwarf variety reaching 3' tall and wide. Growth is dense and blooms are white.

'Sherwoodii' - Smaller in all its parts than the species, with a lower habit (to 4' tall and wide) and smaller, finer-textured leaves. Leaves turn purplish in winter.

'Sunrise' - The leaf margins are yellow and the center of the leaf is dark green. Grows to at least 3 feet tall.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database, http://hort.uconn.edu/plants, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.