This handsome, underused shrub produces its lovely blooms in midsummer when few other shrubs are flowering.
Plant type: deciduous shrub
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 8
Plants bear erect panicles of white flowers that are wandlike and up to 1-1/2 feet long. The showy clusters are made up of small individual flowers with threadlike stamens that give them a spidery or lacy texture. Blooms are carried above large compound leaves that have five to seven leaflets. Bottlebrush buckeye is a suckering, multi-stemmed shrub that is native to the southeastern U.S. While plants are slow to establish, mature plants are well worth the wait. Given time and space they form a rounded eight- to 12-foot-tall mound that spreads from eight to 15 feet. The medium to dark green leaves turn yellow before dropping in fall to reveal clumps of erect, twiggy branches.
Cultivation: Give bottlebrush buckeye a site in full sun to partial shade. Plants need soil that is moist but well-drained and rich in organic matter. While plants grow in full shade, they need at least partial shade to bloom well.
How to use it: Use bottlebrush buckeye as a specimen plant, combine it in shrub borders with other large shrubs, or plant it in masses along buildings, under shade trees, or along woodland edges.