Leptodermis Species, Chinese Leptodermis

Leptodermis oblonga

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Leptodermis (lep-toh-DER-miss) (Info)
Species: oblonga (ob-LON-guh) (Info)
Synonym:Leptodermis chanetii
Synonym:Leptodermis oblonga var. leptophylla



Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Full Sun

Sun to Partial Shade



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us


12-18 in. (30-45 cm)


18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Late Spring/Early Summer

Mid Summer

Late Summer/Early Fall

Mid Fall

Late Fall/Early Winter

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From seed; direct sow outdoors in fall

Seed Collecting:

Unknown - Tell us


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Calhoun, Georgia

Cordele, Georgia

Boise, Idaho

Plainfield, Illinois

South Amana, Iowa

Lucas, Kansas

Bishopville, Maryland

Lexington, Massachusetts

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Ballwin, Missouri

Saint Louis, Missouri

Jamesburg, New Jersey

Wayne, New Jersey

Scottsville, New York

Cincinnati, Ohio

Columbus, Ohio

Gibsonburg, Ohio

Dover, Pennsylvania

Drums, Pennsylvania

New Kensington, Pennsylvania

Simpsonville, South Carolina

Arlington, Tennessee

Lexington, Virginia

Kalama, Washington

Morgantown, West Virginia

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Gardeners' Notes:


On Jul 11, 2014, DavidLMo from St Joseph, MO wrote:

Small, cute, fragrant.


On Jan 18, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

This is an attractive shrub, though it's a member of the chorus rather than a leading lady. The flowers are pretty, and bloom in frequent flushes from June till frost. The first flush is profuse and showy. After that, the flowers are attractive from a few yards away but don't read well from greater distances. The fragrance reminds me of Korean lilac or privet, but I can't detect it unless I sniff the flowers.

There was some dieback in the first year, but not much once it was established. I find that cutting it back in early winter helps it branch and grow more densely and prevents snow damage. I too have found it to spread slowly by suckering, but it's not aggressive.

It's late to leaf out in spring, so don't be hasty to cut back what you think might be dead. ... read more


On Jun 16, 2013, duvalderay from Boise City, ID wrote:

Often described as being inconspicuous, I actually find this to be an attractive little shrub. I have it planted in a partly sunny location that receives a significant amount of reflected light/heat off of a bay window. It is dense and compact (about 2' high by 2' diameter), it has tons of small lavender tubular flowers for about a month and new branch growth is maroon, providing an attractive contrast to its bright green leaves. While it is isn't the center of attraction in its bed, it is a great little complimentary shrub. Sadly, I have not seen any pollinators taking advantage of its bountiful display of flowers over the four years that I've had it.


On Jul 7, 2011, rkwright85 from Horton, MI (Zone 5b) wrote:

I have seen some of these that looked pretty nice and bloomed through most of the summer. The fragrance isn't strong and only noticeable if you're close to the plant or have several of them planted together. I planted one last year and it has yet to bloom in full sun. It's not a bad plant in bloom but otherwise it's nothing special.


On May 18, 2011, brwnails from Riverside, IL wrote:

Planted in part shade and moist soil. Late to leaf out, very twiggy internal structure with lots die back. May do better here in the north in full sun.


On Jul 31, 2010, 45eriepa from Lexington, MA wrote:

It's taken several years for the plant to have an impact, and indeed the impact is fairly modest, but the flowers are held densely enough and in great enough numbers to be quite effective. In any case, it serves the important function of a small, easily controlled shrub that harmonizes well.
I also found this year that it sends out offsets, which have been potted up.


On Oct 28, 2006, lillyo from Marlborough, CT (Zone 6a) wrote:

Last winter, my leptodermis died back to the ground in my zone 6 garden. They too took a long time to show signs of life. They regrew, but it took a while and didn't start to bloom till late summer. They were cute enough, but definitely not showy.


On Jun 11, 2006, lottathyme from Scottsville, NY wrote:

Tried this because it was billed as blooming all summer and having fragrance. Has only been in less than a year; did bloom a long time, although it seemed to pause in heat. Now that it is established, maybe it won't do that. However, I could detect no fragrance at all.

It makes a nice, small, neat globe. Definitely not showy; flowers are maybe 1/2" and a pastel purple. Was quite late to leaf out this spring, to the point where I thought I'd lost it. Once it budded, though, it was in full leaf in maybe a week.

If you are looking for showiness, this is not the plant. I was disappointed in the lack of fragrance. Maybe in its second year it will develop that? We can hope.