Distylium is a new genus in the nursery trade that’s quickly gaining favor with growers, landscapers and retailers. Evergreen members of the witch hazel family (Hamamelidaceae), Distylium, sometimes called Isu Tree, are tough plants and very adaptable in zones 7 to 9. They grow best in full sun to moderate shade and are happy in wet or dry soil as well as extreme heat. They have no major insect or disease problems and are easy to prune and maintain. Landscapers have discovered Distylium is a perfect alternative to overused and problematic boxwood, cherry laurel, hollies, euonymous and Indian hawthorn.

With lustrous dark green or blue-green foliage, Distylium produces small red flowers in the leaf axils all along the stems in late winter. It doesn’t produce any messy fruit and is practically maintenance free. This group of plants is perfect for foundation plantings, landscape beds, hillsides or anywhere low maintenance evergreen shrubs can be used.

Linebacker

Key Selling Points

  • Evergreen lustrous foliage
  • Heat and humidity tolerant
  • Drought tolerant (no supplemental water needed after established)
  • Adapts well to wet soil
  • They like full sun, and have moderate shade tolerance
  • No major pests or diseases
  • Easy to prune and maintain at desired size

First Editions® now has four superior cultivars available.

Vintage Jade

Uniquely different habit with branches layered one upon the other, resulting in a broadleaf evergreen groundcover or low shrub. Lustrous dark green leaves with red flowers that open in February/March. The perfect plant for covering large areas. Adaptable to zones 7 (possibly 6b) to 9.

Vintage Jade
Vintage Jade flower

Linebacker

The first introduction suitable for hedging and screening with an upright-dense habit. Glossy reddish-orange, new growth matures to shiny dark green. Grows between 8 to 10 feet high and 6 to 8 feet. wide. Easily pruned to maintain a screen or hedge. Zones 7 to 9.

Coppertone

A mid-sized, spreading to mounded shrub with copper-bronze-red emerging foliage that matures to matte blue-green. The most beautiful kaleidoscopic foliage color combination in spring, almost more attractive than the flowers. 3-4 feet high and 4-5 feet wide. Zones 7 to 9.

Coppertone

Cinnamon Girl

With smaller leaves and a more refined texture than the other cultivars, this new introduction is a viable alternative to boxwood, holly and other fine-leaf plants beleaguered by insects and diseases in the South. Plum-purple emerging leaves mature to blue-green and hold color through the winter. The graceful, spreading, arching habit permits use in grouping, masses and as a tall ground cover. Grows 2-3 feet high and 4-6 feet wide. Zones 6b to 9 — to date the most cold-hardy cultivar.

Cinnamon Girl

For more information, visit www.firsteditionsplants.com