A recent introduction to the nursery trade, Dystilium hybrids are noted for their soft habit and tough performance. Native to China and Japan, these members of the witch hazel family, Hamamelidaceae, make an ideal alternative to landscape classics such as holly, Indian hawthorn, and juniper. Once established, they’re surprisingly heat and drought tolerant; however, we recommend a spot with some afternoon shade for best long-term appearance (full sun exposure from sunrise to 1 or 2pm will be ideal). As an additional bonus, they’re all evergreen, require very little (or no) pruning, and produce diminutive, burgundy-red flower clusters in late winter.
Here are three of our current favorite Dystilium you can find at NHG:
Distylium Coppertone™ (‘PIIDIST-III’ PP25,304 , First Editions®) is a slightly larger (but still manageable) size, maturing to about 4′ tall and 4-5′ wide. It has rounded, elongated leaves that appear coppery-red when new and mature to a blue-green hue. It’s an adaptable landscape plant that makes an excellent companion or alternative to cherry laurel for foundation plantings.
Distylium Vintage Jade™ (PP23, 128, First Editions®) is a lower, but more spreading hybrid with a mature height of 2-3′ and a spread of 4-5′, making it a good alternative for spreading landscape junipers. Virtually maintenance-free once established, it offers evergreen foliage that holds its deep green color year-round.
Distylium Cinnamon Girl™ (‘PIIDIST-V’ PPAF’, First Editions®) is among the newest hybrids, and it’s considered the most cold-hardy of them all. With a mature height of 2-3′ and a spread of 3-4′, it’s well-suited to a variety of landscape applications. The smaller foliage size makes it a great alternative to boxwood, and the new spring growth appears in a deep plum-purple hue, maturing to a metallic blue-green.
Whether you’re looking to fill gaps in your existing landscape or planning a new installation altogether, we encourage you to try one of these 3 new hybrid shrubs. Their adaptable habit, carefree form and approachable size make them highly versatile for a variety of uses in the north Texas landscape.