Seven Son Flower

Heptacodium miconioides

Description & Overview

The Seven Son Flower is an upright and spreading small stature tree with beautiful dark green foliage and jasmine-like white flower clusters in late summer. In fall a spectacular show begins when the calyces turn bright red. Exfoliating tan bark reveals a cinnamon colored inner bark. A great plant for all seasons!

Core Characteristics

Wisconsin Native: No – Introduced
Mature Height: 15-20 feet
Mature Spread: 8-15 feet
Growth Rate: Fast
Growth Form: Small stature tree, upright vase-shape, arching with age
Light Requirements: Full Sun to Partial Shade
Site Requirements: Prefers average moisture, tolerates a wide range of soils.
Flower: Creamy White, Fragrant
Bloom Period: July-August
Foliage: Glossy green
Fall Color: Golden Yellow, with red calyces in September
Fruit Notes: Red calyces on maturing seeds, September

Suggested Uses:

Use Seven Son Flower as a small stature specimen tree in shadier sites, an accent plant in a front lawn, or as a component of a shrub border.

Jasmine-like white flower clusters in late summer. And in fall the calyces turn bright red.

Wildlife Value:

Seven Son Flower provides habitat to birds, and its flowers provide nectar for pollinators.

Maintenance Tips:

If you desire to shape your Heptacodium miconioides, prune it in winter before the flower buds are set. Pruning in Spring or Summer will remove the flower buds and prevent it from flowering that year.

As with all trees, Seven Son Flower will benefit from a maintained mulch ring at the base. Water in periods of extended drought.


No serious disease or insect problems have been observed on Seven Son Flower, but it can be attacked by Verticillium Wilt, a fungal pathogen that also damages Maples, Ash, Eastern Redbud, and Smokebush. If excessive dieback is observed, contact an arborist to develop a management strategy. Protection from winter animal browse may be necessary if noticed on your plant. Use a vinyl wrap or tree guard to protect the trunk.

We invite you to check out the Arborist For Hire lookup at the Wisconsin Arborist Association website to find an ISA Certified Arborist near you.

Leaf Lore:

Seven Son Flower is an underrated landscape plant. It performs admirably in shadier conditions and its small stature makes it ideal for tight spaces. Discovered in 1907 in China, Heptacodium miconioides hasn’t fallen into use until recently. Its name comes from the whorls of seven flowers it displays each fall. Although best in full sun to partial shade, Seven Son Flower will still provide interest in shadier sites. However, its form may be more open and loose than those grown in full sun. Outstanding specimens can be viewed at Boerner Botanical Gardens, the Chicago Botanical Gardens, and our nursery in Menomonee Falls.

Companion Plants:

With its small size and exfoliating bark, Seven Son Flower pairs well with low perennials at its base. Mass plants like Delft Lace Astilbe, Rozanne Geranium, or Hot Lips Turtlehead around the tree to provide an attractive show of color.

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