Tianshan Seven Son Flower Shines in Every Season

Updated: Jan. 05, 2024

Discover Tianshan seven-son flower's amazing attributes as the seasons change, and learn how and where to grow it in your own garden.

For a versatile shrub with interest in every season, look no further than summer-blooming Tianshan seven-son flower. This large upright shrub is easy to grow, attracts wildlife and works well as a garden centerpiece or as part of a naturalized hedge.

How to Grow Tianshan Seven-Son Flower

A Tianshan seven-son flower in summer with clusters of white flowers.FirstEditionsPlants.com

  • Botanical name: Heptacodium miconioides ‘Minhep’
  • Common name: Tianshan seven-son flower
  • Zones: 5 to 9
  • Light needs: Full sun to part shade
  • Size: 8 to 12 feet high and 5 to 7 feet wide.

Tianshan seven-son flower can be grown two ways: as an upright, column-shaped shrub or a small tree. It looks fantastic as a single specimen plant or in an informal hedge, depending on how much time you’d like to devote to pruning.

However you decide to use this plant, it’s relatively easy to care for as long as it’s planted in the right conditions. It thrives in full sun and moist, well-draining soil, but it’s not a picky plant. Tianshan handles a few hours of shade a day and tolerates soils with a bit of clay or sand. It does well in acidic soils but can adapt to alkaline environments, as well. Many gardeners say that the shrub may benefit from a sheltered location.

Tianshan is relatively fast growing—it reaches its full size in 5 to 10 years. Once established, it’s relatively disease and pest free.

Follow our tips on planting shrubs and bushes when you’re ready to start digging.

Tianshan Seven-Son Flower in Spring and Summer

A bee visits Tianshan seven-son flower's white blooms in summer.FirstEditionsPlants.com

Truly a plant with four-season beauty, Tianshan seven-son flower offers interesting foliage, attractive flowers, and striking bark at different times of the year.

In spring, dark green foliage emerges from reddish-brown branches. The leaves are long, pointed and sport interesting veining. Nesting birds may appreciate the dense cover the shrub provides. Pair it with a spring flowering shrub like forsythia for a boost of color. In late summer, clusters of fragrant white flowers decorate the ends of the branches. The blooms look gorgeous against the background of shiny leaves and smell similar to jasmine or honeysuckle.

These white blossoms give seven-son flower its common name. Each whorl, which is an arrangement of leaves or flowers, features seven individual blooms. Gardeners aren’t the only ones who love the flowers. The blooms also attract helpful pollinators like bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

Tianshan Seven-Son Flower in Fall and Winter

The late-summer flowers usher in the shrub’s most exciting season, but that’s not the end of the show. Tianshan offers plenty of pleasant surprises through winter and fall.

In autumn, pink calyxes appear as the white flower petals fall away and the dark green leaves fade to yellow. The colorful calyxes get larger as fall continues and turn a striking purple-red. Expect these jewel-toned accents to stick around until mid- to late fall. Even as winter arrives, Tianshan’s leaves drop and reveal one-of-a-kind exfoliating bark. The outer layer, which is tan and papery, slowly flakes off in thin strips and reveals streaks of the darker inner bark.

To best admire the interesting bark, plant Tianshan near a path or window for up-close viewing and consider pruning the lower branches in spring or late winter.

Where to Buy Tianshan Seven-Son Flower

tianshan seven sonVia Etsy
Tianshan seven son flower in fall

Tianshan seven-son flower might be available at your local garden center. Call ahead to check for availability. You can also purchase it from an online retailer.