Forest Pansy Redbud by jillmotts
TheGardenLady received this question from Phil.
I am looking for a plant that is similar to a wine and roses wiegela, same color, same leaves but not a root ball shrub. Any ideas?
Wine and Roses Weigela is a lovely addition to any garden and now there seem to be many more plants that have the burgundy or “black” colored leaves. Some of the plants get their best dark leaf color when grown in full sun.
For those who like the dark leaves of Wiegela ‘ Wine and Roses’ there are other dark leaved wiegela to consider. Herman Geers in the Netherlands seems to be one of the major hybridizers of these purple leafed Wiegelas. One charming new burgundy leaf wiegela is ‘Midnight Wine’ This is a low mounding, dwarf version of ‘Wine and Roses’ that can be used as a ground cover. A few other burgundy wiegelas are Wiegela ‘Victoria and Wiegela florida ‘Purpurea’ For a list check out this site.
TheGardenLady loves Continus coggygria Smokebush or Smoketree ‘Royal Purple’ with its burgundy leaves.
Another GardenLady favorite is the purple leafed Cercis canendensis ‘Forest Pansy’ Redbud (see here). The leaves will turn green in the summer. Now there is a cercis with an even darker burgundy leaf . This is Cercis canandensis ‘ Greswan’ or Burgundy Hearts Redbud. I believe this cercis will remain burgundy, though I have read that older shaded foliage may revert to green during the season.
Then there is Diablo Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Monlo’), a very hardy shrub that will even grow in Temp. zone 2 and makes an excellent hedge.
In the Sambucus or Elderberry family there is a group of burgundy leafed shrubs in what is called the ‘Black Lace’ series. ‘Black Lace’ Elder, I believe was the first of the series and won the best plant award in 2006.Â See here.
Another in the series is ‘ Black Beauty Sambucus (Sambucus nigra ‘Gerda’).Â See here.
There is a Berberis with burgundy leaves. Barbary ‘Royal Burgundy’.
If you live in warmer Temperature zones 7A through 10A (hardy to about 10 degrees F) a very pretty easy shrub to grow is Loropetalum Chinensis var. rubrum – Fringe Flower or Chinese Witch Hazel under various names such as ‘Plum Delight’. This lovely shrub has the burgundy leaves you want.
A shrub or small tree that I admire is the Purple Leaf Sand Cherry- Prunus x Cistena. This tree is hardy is US Hardiness Temp. zones 2 -8.
Of course, there are many Japanese maples with burgundy leaves that you can consider. There are too many to list here but a very choice specimen is Acer palmatum var. atropurpureum ‘Burgundy Lace’. Like a shrub, this grows only 8 to 12 feet tall.
TheGardenLady is not sure what you mean by wanting a plant but not “a root ball shrub.” Does that mean that you are not looking for a tree or shrub but want a perennial plant with burgundy leaves? There are many wonderful burgundy leafed perennials. One of my favorites is Cimicifuga ‘Hillside Black Beauty’ (When searching for this plant, note that it has been reclassified as Actaea ‘Hillside Black Beauty. ) See here.
Since there are so many perennials with purple leaves, check the list of purple plants with purple leaves on the Glassworks nursery site.