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- Cultivation: For-Gardeners
- Light: Sun, Dappled, Part-Shade
- Soil: Rich
- pH: 7
- Moisture: Medium
- Form: Shrub
- Habit: Deciduous
- Flower: Small, Pink
- Foliage: Leaves, Green
- Uses: Ornamental
Weigela is a small genus of about 12 species of Deciduous Shrubs in the family Caprifoliaceae, growing to 1-5 m tall. All are natives of eastern Asia. The genus is named after the German scientist Christian Ehrenfried Weigel.
The leaves are 5-15 cm long, ovate-oblong with an acuminate tip, and with a serrated margin. The Flowers are 2-4 cm long, with a five-lobed white, pink, or red (rarely yellow) corolla, produced in small Corymbs of several together in early summer. The Fruit is a dry capsule containing numerous small winged Seeds.
The first species to be collected for Western gardens, Weigela florida, distributed in North China, Korea and Manchuria, was found by Robert Fortune and imported to England in 1845. Following the opening of Japan to Westerners, several Weigela species and garden versions were"discovered" by European plant-hunters in the 1850s and 60s.
The British Weigela national collection is held at Sheffield Botanical Gardens; along with the national collection of the closely related Diervilla genus. The German Weigela national collection, Sichtungsgarten Weigela, is in Buckow, Maerkische Schweiz. Ecology
Weigela species are used as food plants by the Larvae of some Lepidoptera species including Brown-tail.
Several of the species are very popular ornamental shrubs in Gardens, although species have been mostly superseded by hybrids (crosses between W. florida and other Asiatic species).