Zenobia pulverulenta (Bartr. ex Willd.) Pollard

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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Zenobia pulverulenta' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/zenobia/zenobia-pulverulenta/). Accessed 2021-02-27.



  • Andromeda pulverulenta Bartram ex Willd.
  • A. speciosa var. pulverulenta Michx.
  • Zenobia speciosa var. pulverulenta (Michx.) DC.


(pl. calyces) Outer whorl of the perianth. Composed of several sepals.
The inner whorl of the perianth. Composed of free or united petals often showy.
Attached singly along the axis not in pairs or whorls.
(pl. apices) Tip. apical At the apex.
Situated in an axil.
Bluish or greyish waxy substance on leaves or fruits.
Dry dehiscent fruit; formed from syncarpous ovary.
Lacking hairs smooth. glabrescent Becoming hairless.
Grey-blue often from superficial layer of wax (bloom).
globularSpherical or globe-shaped.
Egg-shaped; broadest towards the stem.


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Article from Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles

Recommended citation
'Zenobia pulverulenta' from the website Trees and Shrubs Online (treesandshrubsonline.org/articles/zenobia/zenobia-pulverulenta/). Accessed 2021-02-27.

A deciduous or sub-evergreen shrub of somewhat irregular, thin habit, 4 to 6 ft high, glabrous. Leaves alternate, oblong-ovate or oblong-elliptic, tapering at the base, pointed or rounded at the apex, shallowly toothed, they and the young shoots coated with a glaucous-white bloom. Flowers fragrant, pendent, borne in June and July, in axillary clusters on the terminal portion of the shoots of the previous year, each on a stalk 12 to 34 in. long, forming in effect leafy or naked racemes 4 to 8 in. long. Corolla pure white, broadly bell-shaped, about 38 in. wide, with five shallow lobes. Calyx-lobes five, triangular, persisting at the base of the dry, flattish-globose (or orange-shaped) capsule.

Native of the eastern USA from southeast Virginia to S. Carolina; introduced around 1800. With fragrant flowers like large lilies-of-the-valley and glaucous young stems and leaves this is one of the loveliest of ericaceous shrubs. It is perfectly hardy and tolerates almost full sun, but suffers in droughty summers, especially when planted in the root-run of large trees, and the young growths may be cut by late frost. It needs a moist, peaty or leafy soil, and may be propagated by cuttings of half-ripened wood placed in gentle heat about July. This method is preferable to raising from seed, as there is some variation in the whiteness of the foliage and the size of flower, and the best forms cannot be relied upon to come true from seed. The flowering part of the shoot, from beneath which the young shoots spring, should be cut off as soon as the flowers have faded, if seed is not required.

Zenobia pulverulenta received a First Class Certificate in 1934.

f. nitida (Michx.) Fern.

Andromeda speciosa var. nitida Michx.
A. cassinefolia Vent.
A. cassinefolia var. nuda Vent.
Zenobia speciosa (Michx.) D. Don
Z. pulverulenta var. nuda (Vent.) Rehd.
Z. cassinefolia (Vent.) Pollard

In all essential characters this is identical with typical Z. pulverulenta, but the leaves are green on both sides and the stems are scarcely glaucous. Bot. Mag., t. 970.This green-leaved form is less striking than the typical glaucous form, *** still charming. It received an Award of Merit in 1934 as Z. speciosa and in 19*** as Z. pulverulenta var. nuda. It is still usually known in gardens as Z. speciosa, but is certainly not specifically distinct from Z. pulverulenta and, if it were, it would take the name Z. cassineifolia.


This has the leaf-margins set with shallow wavy lobes. A curiosity.