Notable Natives: Distylium - A Minimal-Maintenance Alternative in the Garden
By Su Fiske | Special to the Coastal Point Nov 10, 2022
Distylium is a member of the witch hazel family and is found in a variety of sizes, 3 feet to 10 feet in height and 4 to 8 feet wide, with tiny red flowers in the winter. They are a great alternative to boxwoods, cherry laurels, junipers, hollies, Indian hawthorns and junipers.
Distyliums make a great minimal-maintenance, disease-resistant choice for your garden.
If you wish for denser growth, prune the tips in late May/June. They grow in full sun or part-shade, and once established will tolerate heat, drought, wet soil. Plus, they have a remarkable resistance to disease and insects.
Michael Dirr, along with his plant professional partners, Jeff Beasley and Mark Griffin, at Plant Introductions Inc., developed the distylium hybrids.
The Linebacker distylium makes for a great hedge, with its height of 8 to 10 feet and width of 6 to 8 feet. Their new reddish growth matures to a glossy dark green.
The Coppertone distylium grows to 3 to 4 feet tall and has a spread of 4 to 5 feet, with a mid-sized to rounded growth habit with coppery new red foliage that matures to blue-green. They work well in low-growing hedges, foundation plantings and accents.