aka Chinese fringe flower, this plant is becoming more popular in landscaped gardens for good reason. The burgundy leaved version with its bright pink flowers is in full show now, adding a spectacular splash of colour to the garden when not a lot of shrubs have started flowering yet. It is “idiot proof” hardy once established – will grow in sun or partial shade, prefers a slightly acid soil so back fill with compost when planting, and is drought and moisture tolerant. If left unpruned it will grow into a small 2m tree, but can be trimmed into a large ball, a hedge, or even kept as a bulky groundcover with selective regular pruning out of vertical shoots. And it’s not just a pretty plant – originally from Japan & SE Asia, Loropetalum is used in the treatment of coughing in tuberculosis, dysentery, enteritis etc. The leaves can be crushed and pulverised for external application on wounds.