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This remarkable and slow-growing shrub from China and Japan is relatively inconspicuous in summer, but suddenly becomes a highlight in autumn when the foliage catches fire with brilliant crimson tints. These are most vivid in full sun, although it grows reasonably well in shade. The summer flowers are insignificant, but they are followed by attractive purple and red fruits which split open to form four winged lobes with a bright orange seed at the centre. 'Compactus' is a smaller and denser variety, and will make a fine informal hedge. The Royal Horticultural Society has given it the Award of Garden Merit (AGM).
Plant type: Deciduous shrub
Flower colour: Green
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Feature: Autumn colour, Fruit
Sun exposure: Full sun, Partial shade
Soil: Well-drained/light, Moist
Skill level: Beginner
Time to take cuttings: July to August
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