Pieris, or as it is commonly known, Lily of the Valley bush, has been extensively hybridised as they are amongst the most popular evergreen shrubs for temperate gardens. Originating mainly in the subtropical and temperate regions of the Himalayas and eastern Asia they are mainly spring flowering and some of them have a subtle fragrance. They are valued as specimen shrubs and are very effective, providing a real show, when planted in groupings of three or five.
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Particularly attractive is the fact that the new leaf growth is different in colour to the mature leaves, being reddish, bronze, pink or yellow. The beautiful small flowers hang down in panicles and each flower resembles a white bell. Pieris species prefer cool, moist, well-drained soil and they are partial to lashings of humus. When situated in full sun they will flower more prolifically whereas a spot in semi-shade will result in more lush foliage. They have a tidy habit and therefore they do not require major pruning – just the odd pinching back will suffice to keep them in shape.