Distylium: a new, hardy evergreen shrub

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

If you’re looking for an evergreen shrub to add to your landscape, but you’re tired of the same old varieties, you may be interested in a new plant in the nursery trade called Distylium. Distylium could be considered the perfect plant. It grows in light shade all the way up to full sun. It’s heat and drought resistant. Deer don’t like it. Insects don’t bother it. And diseases, up to this point, are not a factor.

Currently there are six varieties of Distylium out on the market and each one varies a little bit in size and shape. One variety is called Vintage Jade, which only grows to be about two to three feet tall. Vintage Jade can be easily kept at about four feet wide.  Another variety called Copper Tone has a smaller leaf on it, and its new foliage is a bit on the orange side. Blue Cascade is slightly larger. It will end up having a slight blue green look to its leaf, getting to be about four feet tall. The largest of the Distyliums is this Linebacker, which will get to be eight to ten feet tall and will make a great screen for your porch or patio.

Each Distylium does keep foliage during the wintertime and, with a little light sheering, can be kept nice and full. It has a flower, but it might go unnoticed because the little tiny red flower only blooms in January or February.