The abelias (Abelia) are a genus of shrubs related to the honeysuckles (Lonicera). They are rarely encountered in northern latitudes, only the Korean species Abelia mosanensis has proved hardy in Finland.
Korean abelia produces highly scented small flowers around mid-summer, their sepals forming a nice contrast against the rose-red of the tubular corolla. This shrub tolerates dry situations and flowers quite freely even in fairly heavy shade, but is at its best in moist, slightly acid soil in full sun. Flower buds form the previous autumn so severe pruning can destroy the following season’s flowering.
After flowering, Korean abelia is not particularly showy until autumn, when it takes on attractive shades of rose-red and orange not found in other shrubs. Korean abelia has only recently reached Finland via Latvia, where it was grown during the Soviet era thanks to the Soviet Union-Korea connection.