One truly magnificent tree at Red Butte Garden is the Seven-Son Flower (Heptacodium miconioides).
Seven-Son Flower Heptacodium miconioides
This fountain-shaped tree has something to show off in every season. Spring and summer brings a dense covering of oval leaves making it a great living screen, though late summer is when the real magic begins.
Whorls of fragrant white flower clusters begin popping open at the end of summer. Each cluster contains seven flowers which gives this tree its name.
Heptacodium miconioides flower cluster
Flowering can last almost a month and after pollination, the sepals elongate and change from green to dark pink to become part of the incredibly showy fruit.
Heptacodium miconioides fruit
During the winter, the Seven-Son Flower still provides interest because as the trees become more mature and the trunks become thicker, the tan outer bark exfoliates to reveal an attractive inner bark.
Heptacodium miconioides exfoliating bark
Although it can be trained as a single-trunk tree, at Red Butte we prefer to grow the multi-trunked form and we have three stunning examples of multi-trunked trees in our Fragrance Garden. Because of the year round interest this tree brings, be sure to visit the garden each season and see how magnificent it is in person.
Photos by Jason Baker