This article was first published on 07 Jan 2011.
Imposter Just as Beautiful by Another Name
We have had this plant at the Botanic Garden for over 18 years but unfortunately it came to us under a completely different name. We discovered about 3 years ago that it was not what we thought it was and after extensive searches, re-identified it as the beautiful Dipelta floribunda.
All seasons covered In spring it bares white-tinged pink flowers like foxgloves. They have a deep orange-yellow throat, but that is not the end of the beauty. Flowers are followed by interesting four winged papery seed cases resembling futuristic spaceships from a Star Wars film. In autumn the leaves turn orange and yellow, falling off to reveal the mahogany coloured peeling bark.
- Flowers – white and very fragrant.
- Deciduous and hardy to – 15 degrees C.
- Height – 4m tall by 3m spread. Easily pruned to maintain smaller size.
- Origin – China. 4 species of Dipelta.
- Propagation – from cuttings and seed.
Dipelta floribunda, commonly known as the rosy dipelta can be seen in the North Asian collection in the upper area of Dunedin Botanic Garden near the Signal Hill and Opoho Road entrance gate.
Dylan Norfield is the Geographic and Arboretum Collection Curator at Dunedin Botanic Garden.