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Hardy evergreen shrub may fit your landscape
Clark MacCallister
Gardeners and landscapers are always on the lookout for new and exciting plant species to spice up their yards. When someone asks me for a plant suggestion, I usually start off by asking what they are looking for. It’s usually the same answer: they want something evergreen, low maintenance, drought and heat tolerant, can handle poor soils and soggy soils, insect and disease resistant and something with attractive flowers. Of course, I usually follow this answer with an explanation that few plants fulfill all of those strict categories. However, a recently introduced shrub may just check all of those boxes. Distylium hybrids are shrubs developed by retired University of Georgia horticulture professor Dr. Michael Dirr. They are developed from crossing Isu trees native to China and Japan. They are members of the witch hazel family, and a cousin to the common witch hazel native to the eastern U.S.