Piptanthus nepalensis var. tomentosus MD 97


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Our collection from Yunnan in 1997 of this cream of the crop higher elevation Piptanthus. Imagine our excitement seeing just 3 plants growing in a rubble outflow at the base of a steep hill after hours of walking across the valley of the Gang Ho Ba. Great silvery silken trifoliate foliage and large yellow pea flowers. This makes a multistemmed rounded shrub to 6' tall in our border. Most folks mistake it for a shrubby Argyrocytisus (Cytisus) battandieri until it blooms with flowers evocative of Laburnum. We've grown and killed several collections of the green-leafed P. nepalensis but this variety (which we have offered in the past as P. aff. tomentosus and much earlier as P. forrestii) is far hardier having withstood early November 14F with strong winds despite not being hardened off as the previous week had been in the 60's. Thanks to Grahame Ware for sharing recent research in the genus and hopefully nailing down the correct name. With botany however, never say never.


Plant Type

  • Shrub

Mature Size


Hardiness Zones

  • Zone 7a (0 °F)
  • Zone 7b (5 °F)
  • Zone 8a (10 °F)
  • Zone 8b (15 °F)
  • Zone 9a (20 °F)
  • Zone 9b (25 °F)

Sun Exposure

  • Full Sun

Water Needs

  • Moderate

Bloom Time

  • Spring
  • Summer