Leaves variegated. Adult plants usually more than 1 m tall and broad. Flowers of various colours. The standard cultivar is ‘Florida Variegata’ (Hoffmann 2008).
Weigela florida 'Brigela'
Weigela MOULIN ROUGE
Weigela 'French Lace'
Raised by André Briant, France, c. 2000. A selection with yellow-variegated leaves and deep-red flowers (Hoffmann 2007).
Weigela florida 'Caricature'
Hoffmann suggests ‘Caricature’ is distinctive among the Variegata Group on account of its yellow-variegated and ‘crumpled’ leaf, quite unlike any other. Online images are suggestive of basil leaves with a narrow and somewhat irregular cream margin (nurcar.com). Raised in France before 1995, and possibly originating as a sport of W. ‘Siebold Variegata’ (Hoffmann 2007).
Weigela florida 'Champagne and Strawberries'
Released in North America in c. 2009 this selection is described as having wavy, bright-green leaves, which bleach to pale cream-white through the summer. The flowers, borne in spring, are red. Ultimate height of 1–1.5 m (growertalks.com).
Weigela 'Couleur d'Automne'
Often confused with W. Bicolor Group ‘Courtamon’, W. ‘Courtamom’ is a variegated clone with particularly good autumn colour. Hatch (2017) suggests it ‘can replace all other variegates due to fall color value’ adding that is thought to have originated in France during the 1980s ‘from irradiated “Le Printemps”’ . This is contradicted though by Edwards & Marshall (2019) who state it to be a hybrid between ‘Abel Carrière’ and ‘Bristol Ruby’, though raised in France. It has long trumpet-shaped whiteand pink flowers over a long season (Edwards & Marshall 2019).
An obscure cultivar, which Hoffmann describes as having hirsute leaves and red flowers, however an illustration on the Friends of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens website shows a plant with flowers pale pink in bud, darkening to deep pink with age (Hoffmann 2008).
‘Florida Variegata’ is one of the most commonly cultivated Weigela and its familiarity may well be the cause of the indifference, even contempt, which the genus is unfairly subject to by some horticulturists. It was selected by Desbois, Boskoop, The Netherlands, before 1861 and has since become one of the great stalwarts of temperate gardens. As an ornamental shrub it is extremely reliable, the foliage irregularly margined cream-yellow, and the flowers pink-purple. It grows taller than broad, and can apparently be distinguished from the superficially similar W. ‘Praecox Variegata’ by its wider leaves with paler margins, and darker coloured flowers (Howard 1965; Hoffmann 2007) however there are inconsistencies in the literature regarding which character belongs to which selection. See W. ‘Praecox Variegata’ for further discussion.
Hoffmann (2007) suggests W. ‘Gold Rush’ is probably not distinct and should be treated as either W. ‘Florida Variegata’ or W. ‘Praecox Variegata’ (see each of those entries for notes regarding the difficulties distinguishing them).
A form with variegated foliage and bicoloured flowers in white and pale-pink (larchcottage.co.uk).
Weigela MAGICAL RAINBOW
A medium-sized shrub, to 1.3 m tall and broad, with red stems and yellow-margined leaves whose edge turns pink in summer. The flowers are soft pink in early summer (andre-briant.fr, Edwards & Marshall 2019). This and other clones with cultivar names commencing with ‘Kol-’ were raised by the firm of Kolster B.V., Boskoop, which specialises in producing plants for cutflower and foliage purposes.
Weigela MAGICAL SUNSHINE
Raised by Kolster B.V., Boskoop, the Netherlands (Hoffmann 2007).
Weigela SUNNY FANTASY
Raised by Kolster B.V., Boskoop, the Netherlands (Hoffmann 2007).
Weigela florida 'Korea'
A medium- to large-sized shrub, described as having lanceolate leaves and long, narrow, deep pink to pink-red flowers. It is apparently very hardy and may have originated in Scandinavia (eplante.no).
A medium-sized shrub with cream-margined leaves and pale pink flowers, followed by pink-and red-tinged leaves in autumn (Edwards & Marshall 2019). Raised at the Knap Hill Nursery, England, before 1881 (Howard 1965; Hoffmann 2007).
Included by Hoffmann (2008) in the White-flowered Group, it could also be included here on account of its variegated leaves. See also White-flowered Group ‘Marginata’.
Weigela 'White Pillow'
Raised by B. Verhoef at Hazerswoude, the Netherlands in 2002, Weigela ‘Milk & Honey’ combines faintly yellow-variegated leaves (variously blotched and streaked yellow-green in the middle of the blade; not margined like so many other Variegata Group selections) with white flowers. Hoffmann suggested in 2007 that this was probably a unique combination, but added that plants in a trial reverted freely to typically green-leaved branches (Hoffmann 2007).
The only reference to this name comes from the webpage of the Friends of the Botaincal Gardens, Sheffield. The single image shows pale green leaves with a cream margin, and white flowers with some yellowing in the throat.
Hoffmann (2007) suggests this name is regularly encountered in literature, but that all material so-labelled received for his trial turned out to be either W. ‘Florida Variegata’ or W. ‘Praecox Variegata’. Howard (1965) describes it as ‘A small shrub remaining in a ball, leaves margined with yellow’ and gives the earliest reference to the name as the 1880 catalogue of Baudriller, Maine-et-Loire, France.
Howard’s extensive checklist also gives the following names, which probably all represent the same plant:
‘Nana Argenteo-Variegata’, ‘Den Ouden & Sons, Boskoop…1921 catalogue…published without further description’;
‘Nana Aurea’, coincidentally Howard gives this name the same source and date as ‘Nana Variegata’ i.e. Baudriller, Maine-et-Loire, France, 1880 catalogue;
‘Nana Folia Variegata’, raised by Van Houtte, France, 1861, ‘A small compact plant with flat but colorful leaves’;
‘Rosea Nana Variegata’, ‘Small shrub with uniform golden to white-edged leaves. Flowers medium sized, bright rose’. (This is the best match to the illustration of ‘Nana Variegata’ on the Friends of the Sheffield Botanical Gardens webpage).
‘Variegata Nana’, a name used in Bean 1914.
A selection of obscure origin, the earliest reference detected by Howard (1965) is dated 1939–1940, but it was doubtless in cultivation much earlier and may have been introduced directly from Japan in the 19th century. Like W. ‘Florida Variegata’ it remains popular and the two cultivars are indeed very similar. Some sources suggest that the colouration of the variegated margin differs between the two clones (i.e. gold-green in ‘Praecox Variegata’ and cream-yellow in ‘Florida Variegata’ according to Hoffmann (2007), while other sources suggest the variegation is much the same, for example Hillier & Coombes 2002). One selection is supposed to have darker-coloured flowers than the other, but again there is inconsistency in literature as to which is which! Edwards & Marshall (2019) note that ‘Praecox Variegata’ but do not comment on the fragrance of ‘Florida Variegata’. It is inevitable that these two clones will have long been mixed up in gardens and nurseries.
Weigela 'Siebold Silver Edge’
Weigela 'Sieboldi Alba-marginata'
Weigela 'Sieboldii Folia Argenteo-marginata’
A medium-sized shrub with variegated leaves and very pale-pink to white flowers. Raised by Van Houtte c. 1878 (Hoffmann 2007). The synonymy given here is distilled from R.A. Howard’s checklist (Howard 1965).
Weigela florida 'Sunny Princess'
Raised by B. Verhoef at Hazerswoude, the Netherlands c. 1992, Weigela ‘Sunny Princess’ has yellow-margined leaves and pink-purple flowers. It is very like W. ‘Praecox Variegata’ but, according to Hoffmann, neither as vigorous nor robust as that clone (Hoffmann 2007).
Weigela florida 'Suzanne'
Weigela ‘Suzanne’ is a medium-sized shrub, unlike many other Variegata Group cultivars in having only a very narrow band of white-variegation around the leaf margins, <1 mm wide. Pink and white flowers are borne on the same plant (the pink ones having a dark throat) over a period of 6–8 weeks from late spring into summer. Probably of North American origin (chicagobotanic.org).
Weigela ‘Variegated Mystery’ leaves are thinly (2–4 mm) edged white, never yellow-ish, a little like W. ‘Suzanne’ but the variegated margin is much narrower in that selection. ‘Variegated Mystery’ has flowers that are pale pink in bud, opening white with a pink-tinged throat (‘Suzanne’ has bicoloured flowers). J.C. Raulston obtained this clone from Europe and distributed it through US collections (Hatch 2017). It is not listed by Howard (1965) in his extensive checklist, which suggests it was selected after this date, nor is it listed by Hoffmann (2007).
Leaves irregularly margined cream-white, extending inward toward the midrib in some parts of the blade. Flowers deep rose. (Hoffmann 2008).