Loropetalum chinense – Fringe flowers.
The Loropetalum genus has 3 species commonly known as Fringe flowers.
Loropetalum chinense and Loropetalum lanceum are commonly grown but Loropetalum
subcordatum is said to be a threatened species.
They are evergreen, multi-stemmed shrubs, or small trees.
The small, brown branchlets have stellate hairs.
Leaves are alternately arranged and on short hairy stalks only about 0.5 cm long.
There are short hairy stipules up to 5 mm long at the petiole bases.
Leaves are ovate or elliptic, up to 6.5 cm long by 3 cm wide with an asymmetric base.
The upper surface is dark green and the densely hairy lower surface is pale.
The upper surface may have some stellate hairs when young.
The veins are prominent on the under side and the edge may have occasional short teeth.
Inflorescences, with 1 cm long stalks, are terminal on short lateral branches.
Each has up to 16 drooping flowers on very short hairy stalks.
Bracts are up to 4.5 mm long.
Flowers have tiny sepals and 4 (6) ribbon-like white or pink petals up to 2 cm long.
There are 4 or 5 stamens with short filaments alternating with staminodes.
The appendage on the anthers is under 1 mm long.
The anthers have 4 pollen sacs each dehiscing via a valve.
The hairy, inferior ovary matures into an ovoid capsule up to 8 mm wide.
Loropetalum chinense has white and pink flowered varieties and Loropatalum lanceum has white flowers.
Cultivars of L. chinense have pale yellow or red flowers and some have reddish-purple leaves.