(Saxifragaceae - Saxifrage Family)
- small ornamental shrub
- species form slowly matures at about 3' tall by 4' wide (or larger, but the primary cultivar is smaller)
- spreading oval growth habit (with the oval on its side)
- slow growth rate
- full sun to partial shade
- best performance occurs in full sun in moist, well-drained, average soils, but it is adaptable to relatively poor soils, variable soil pHs, and occasional drought
- propagated by seeds or rooted stem cuttings
- Saxifrage Family, with few diseases or pests of ornamental significance
- moderately available in container form
- immediately after flowering, keep it tidy by shearing off the upper one-third of the stems for invigoration and to remove the winter-killed upper portions of some stems; also consider pruning to the ground every third year after flowering, for total rejuvenation
- medium green, opposite, lanceolate, short-petioled, slightly rough on the upper leaf surface, and with knobby serrations of lighter color on the leaf margin that are uniquely raised above the plane of the leaf
- fall color is chartreuse to faded orange-red, and ornamentally ineffective
- white, in early May, composed of 3" long inflorescences of approximately five flowers each, effective for two weeks and the only attractive element of the species form of this low shrub
- small green-brown capsules are ornamentally inconspicuous
- tan to gray, exfoliating, very twiggy and thin, and prone to Winter dieback at the tips
- ID Summary
- leaves are opposite on the thin stems, with knobby serrations raised above the plane of the leaf blade
- showy inflorescences are pure white, occuring in early May, and adorn the low, spreading, fine-textured, twiggy shrub, which often has dead tips and/or dead sections of the shrub from Winter-kill
- shrub used in tucked-away borders and foundations, often found in group or mass plantings, or alternatively used as a facer shrub (to hide the bare portions of leggy shrubs of other species) if it is regulary sheared to keep it tidy and spreading
- fine texture in foliage and when bare
- average density in foliage but thick density when bare
- good Spring flowers are effective for up to two weeks
- often a low, spreading, relatively compact habit
- fine texture
- poor fall color
- often has terminal twig dieback in Winter, resulting in a ragged appearance in early Spring
- zones 4 to 8
- native to Japan
- compact shrubs with attractive flowers (Clethra alnifolia 'Hummingbird', Itea virginica 'Henry's Garnet', Rhododendron [mostly Azaleas], Viburnum plicatum 'Nanum Newport', etc.)
- fine-textured small shrubs (Forsythia viridissima 'Bronxensis', Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star', Picea abies 'Pumila', Spiraea x bumalda, etc.)
- facer shrubs (Berberis thunbergii atropurpurea 'Crimson Pygmy', Cotoneaster apiculatus, Philadelphus 'Miniature Snowflake', Picea abies 'Nidiformis', Viburnum opulus 'Nanum', etc.)
- Deutzia gracilis 'Nikko' - similar to the species form except for the critical aspects of a slightly more compact habit with attractive burgandy-purplish fall color, but slightly less cold hardy; still, the cultivar of choice
- Deutzia is named after Johann van der Deutz, the 18th century patron of Carl Peter Thunberg, a botanist who collected many plants from Japan and introduced them to Western civilizations.
- gracilis translates as "graceful" or "slender", and refers to the thin stems.
- Slender Deutzia is a Spring-flowering small shrub that is also noted for its fine texture and facer shrub potential.
- Deutzia gracilis is known as a compact shrub with showy white May inflorescences and fine texture.
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