Latin name enkianthus was made up from two Greek words although this deciduous shrub originates in Japan. It belongs to the heath family and also fits in there perfectly. No other rhododendron or azalea has its structure. Its main stems are always fully vertical with tops of small, alternate leaves.At the end of spring, underneath the small umbrella of leaves hang lovely, bell-shaped flowers with conspicuous red veins. Variety Victoria has flowers of red to deep pink colour. Deadheading spent flowers should increase the number of flowers on young plants, however, we have never done it and our shrubs are beautiful and abundantly flowering every year. Apart from its unique blooms there is another show-off feature: its autumn colour. The leaves, before they fall off, turn to bright red, deep orange or butter yellow, depending on location. Red-vein need not be pruned, only the branches that, for instance, due to excess fertilizing went bananas and grew too long, may be trimmed. Mature plants can be kept compact by trimming immediately after flowering. Give it fully acidic, fertile soil that will always be moist but well drained, and a sunny spot. Fully hardy to -27°C (USDA zone 5b), possibly more.
Chlumec 23, 382 32 Velešín, Czech republic