Small tree or shrub to 5 m, branches glabrous or with two lines of hairs. Leaves elliptic or obovate 4–10 x 2–6 cm, apex caudate or acuminate, base cuneate or rounded, margin shallowly serrate, upper surface glabrate, lower surface densely hairy, lateral veins 5–8 , petiole 0.3–1 cm, glabrous. Cymes axillary or terminal on previous years growth, 2- or 3-flowered. Peduncle 0.1–0.8 cm, hairy or glabrous, bracts and, bracteoles lanceolate, 5–10 mm, caducous. Calyx tube 5-lobed, radially symmetric, linear or lanceolate, free more than half of length, 0.4–0.7 x c. 0.1 cm, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Corolla funnel-shaped, 2.5–3.5 x 1.5–2 cm, abruptly widening from the base, dark rose-red in bud, rose outside, pale pink inside, glabrous outside. Corolla tube 2.2–3 cm, hairy inside, throat orange with minute papillae, corolla 5-lobed, radially symmetric, ovate or oblong, 0.7–1cm long (c. 30–40% of length of corolla tube). Stamen shorter than corolla, filaments 0.7–1 cm, glabrous; anthers, free, linear c. 0.5 cm long, yellow. Style as long as corolla or slightly shorter, 2.2–3.5 cm long, glabrous, stigma disc-like, c. 3 mm diameter. Fruit cylindrical, 1.2–1.8 cm long, dehiscing from apex, glabrous. Seeds ovoid, 1 mm long, with narrow wings on three sides. Flowers: May to July. Fruits: August to October. (Iwatsuki (ed) 1993).
Distribution Japan Honshu, Hokkaido
USDA Hardiness Zone 7
RHS Hardiness Rating H5
Siebold and Zuccarini described Weigela hortensis from plants in Japanese gardens. It is allied to W. japonica but its leaves are white-tomentose beneath and its corolla glabrous outside. W. hortensis was introduced to continental Europe, in the guise of a white-flowered selection under the name W. hortensis ‘Nivea’, in the early 1860s, and to the United Kingdom before 1878 (Bean 1981b).