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The most popular of the Abelias. An evergreen or semi-evergreen shrub with a rounded, fountain-like growth habit. Fast-growing to 4-8 ft tall and 4-6 ft wide. Fine-textured, glossy, oval, dark green leaves, 2 inches long. New growth has bronze color. Prolific, tiny white with pink sepals tubular flowers (less than 1 inch long) in clusters at stem ends, from summer to fall some times longer. Flowers are slightly fragrant.
The flowers appear in the upper leaf axils and stem ends, 1-8 together in a short cyme; they are pendulous, white to pink, bell-shaped with a five-lobed corolla.
The species from warm climates are evergreen, and colder climate species deciduous.
Species and varieties:
This annual, herbaceous shrub is readily identifiable by its beautiful, pale-yellow flowers. The pods and leaves are edible, and young pods can be used in stir-fry and soups either blanched or pickled. When cooked it resembles asparagus, yet it may be left raw and served in a cold salad.
Its palmate leaves are highly dissected with five to nine deep lobes. The largest, widest leaves form at the base of the plant, where there may be some small side branches. The blooms (4-5" in diameter) are pale yellow with a dark maroon to purple center eye, and emerge from the terminal end of a central flowering stalk.It is easily propagated from cuttings, easy to cultivate, relatively disease-resistant and even is considered to be of medicinal value. It is widely planted either along borders of gardens or as an intercrop throughout many traditional gardens in the tropics. A nice flowering addition to the vegetable garden.
Valued as an ornamental plant, due to its colorful and attractive flowers. The leaves are alternate, rough, hairy, heart-shaped or 3-5 lobed with serrated margins. Flowers are Hibiscus-like.
Cultivated for aromatic oil from seeds. Young leaves, shoots, and unripe seedpods are cooked as a vegetable.