Pieris japonica 'Browers Beauty'

In Praise of Pieris

Every March I am enchanted with Pieris japonica and then I promptly forget about it as other more intriguing options catch my attention and it fades into the background. I found three varieties worth planting during a hunt for spring at The Farm, and some that had been planted for at least 40 years at an apartment complex.

Pieris japonica 'Browers Beauty'
Pieris japonica ‘Browers Beauty’

Deer resistant and happy in shade, Pieris japonica can have ivory, pale yellow or pale or deep pink bell shaped blooms that hang in nodding clusters or fans.

Pieris japonica
Pieris japonica ‘Dorothy Wyckoff’
Pieris japonica 'Valley Valentine'
Pieris japonica ‘Valley Valentine’

 Some varieties have boldly colored new foliage, and still others are variegated.  All, when mature, have twisting textured trunks that can add structural interest to older, more mature plants.

Pieris japonica 'Mountain Fire'
Pieris japonica ‘Mountain Fire’


image via Mahoney’s

This year I’m going to plant some for both my clients and myself.  This evergreen shrub (commonly called Andromeda) is old fashioned and about 50 years ago was overused as an  foundation plant, but now there aren’t so many around and the big ‘ole mature ones are super awesome when not much else is happening.  They also make a great winter or early spring container plant that can  be transplanted into the garden.  For cultivation info…click here.

2 thoughts on “In Praise of Pieris

  1. I don’t know about retro-cool, but I’m so starved for spring (it’s snowing in New Jersey again today) that their early bloom and evergreen qualities made me sit up and take notice this year!

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