Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Choisya x Dewitteana ‘Aztec Pearl’

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Pearl' Flower (07/04/2012, London)

Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Pearl' Flower (07/04/2012, London)

Position: Full Sun to Partial Shade

Flowering period: Late spring to early summer

Soil: Well drained

Eventual Height: 2.5m

Eventual Spread: 2.5m

Hardiness: 7a – 9b

Family: Rutaceae

Choisya x dewitteana ’Aztec Pearl’ is a vigorous, bushy, rounded evergreen shrub. The deep green leaves are opposite, glossy, leathery and palmately divided into fans of up to 13 linear leaflets. The individual leaves are linear with entire margins, up to 8cm long and release a pleasant fragrance when crushed. The star shaped hermaphrodite flowers are white with green stigma and are pink before they open. They are scented and up to 3cm across . The fruit is a 2 to 6 sectioned leathery capsule.

Choisya x dewitteana ’Aztec Pearl’ is a cross between Choisya ternata and Choisya dumosa var. arizonica and was bred by Peter Moore for Hillier Nurseries in 1982.

The etymological root of the binomial name Choisya is derived from the surname of Jacques Choisy. We are unsure of the root of the word dewitteana, reader feedback would be welcome.

Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Pearl' (07/04/2012, London)

Choisya x dewitteana 'Aztec Pearl' (07/04/2012, London)

The landscape architect may find  Choisya x dewitteana ’Aztec Pearl’ useful as an effective, evergreen, medium sized ground cover plant with fragrant flowers and interesting leaves. it is particularly useful in light shade locations. It is effective when planted en mass due to its low maintenance. It may be planted as both a formal and informal hedge. It is drought and pollution tolerant once established.

Ecologically C. x dewitteana ’Aztec Pearl’ is attractive to bee and butterflies.

C. x dewitteana ’Aztec Pearl’ prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It will tolerate most pH of soil.

C. x dewitteana ’Aztec Pearl’ requires little maintenance. To encourage a second flush of flowers in autumn cut the stems by 25cm after flowering in spring.

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