This deciduous shrub is so uncommon in gardens that it doesn’t really have an English common name, apart from “fountain hardhack,” which is used by a few references. It does have a variety of botanical names, though, including Flueggea suffruticosa, Securinega suffruticosa, and Securinega ramiflora, among many others. It was long classified as part of the euphorbia family but is now included in Phyllanthaceae.
I’ve been growing this species for only a few years, originally starting from seed shared with me by a nursery in Italy. The overall appearance of this shrub is airy and elegant, with small, greenish, petal-less flowers in summer, and yellow fall foliage. Some plants are male and some are female. Where there is at least one of each, the female will produce small seed pods, and you may get self-sown seedlings. The male plants produce their flowers in clusters, so they tend to be a little bit showier in bloom. The ultimate size is variable, but figure about 6 to 9 feet tall and wide.
If you enjoy growing rare and quirky plants, reading this article may influence you in its favor, as it did me: A Habit to Cultivate.
There is little information about the hardiness range in North America, but it has been fully hardy in my sunny, Zone 6/7, southeastern Pennsylvania garden.
Harvested in late October 2022. At least 15 seeds.
Please read the germination information as well before ordering.
Tom King (verified owner) –
Sowed all seed in a tray outdoors in December. Seven germinated, now six inches tall and healthy.
Jennifer Lopez (verified owner) –
I won’t start these for another few weeks (for fall planting) but they look like clean, healthy seeds.