This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
(Greek dis, twice, and pelte, shield; two of the floral bracts are shield-like). Caprifoliaceae. Ornamental deciduous shrubs, grown for their handsome pinkish or purple flowers.
Leaves opposite, short-petioled, entire or denticulate, without stipules: flowers solitary or in leafy few-fid. racemes, with 4 unequal conspicuous bracts at the base; calyx-lobes linear or lanceolate, 5; corolla tubular-campanu-late, 2-lipped; stamens 4, inclosed; style slender, shorter than corolla; ovary inferior, elongated, 4-celled, 2 of the cells with 1 fertile ovule each and 2 cells with several sterile ovules: fruit a caps, inclosed by the enlarged, usually shield-like, bracts. - Four species in Cent, and W. Asia.
Dipeltas resemble diervillas in habit, with handsome pinkish or purple flowers in clusters along last year's branches; the flowers in shape are like those of a large-flowered abelia. D. floribunda has proved hardy at the Arnold Arboretum, while D. ventricosa seems to be somewhat tenderer. They are apparently not particular as to the soil. Propagation is by seeds sown in spring and probably, like Abelia and Diervilla, by greenwood and hardwood cuttings.
Maxim. Shrub, to 15 ft.: leaves ovate to lanceolate, acute or acuminate, rounded or narrowed at the base, entire, puberulous at first, soon glabrous, 2-4 in. long: flowers 1-6, on slender nodding pedicels, tubular-campanulate, pale rose, lower lip with orange marks, 1 1/4in. long; ovary inclosed by the 2 upper large shield-like bracts persisting on the fruit and 3/4-1 in. across. May. Cent. China. B.M. 8310. G.C. III. 42:3. M.D.G. 1912:27.
Hemsl. Shrub, to 18 ft.: leaves ovate-lanceolate to lanceolate, long - acuminate, usually rounded at the base, remotely glandular-denticulate, sparingly hairy above and villous along the veins beneath, 2-6 in. long: flowers 1-4 on drooping slender pedicels, campanulate, ventricose and scarcely tubular at the base, outside purple, whitish inside and marked with orange, 1 1/4 in. long; ovary hidden by 2 large unequal auriculate bracts on the fruit about 3/4in. across. May, June. W.China. B.M. 8294. G.C. III. 44:101.
D. yunnanensis, Franch. Allied to D. ventricosa. Leaves entire: corolla distinctly tubular at the base. W. China. R.H. 1891, p. 246. Not yet introduced - D. elegans, Batal, is another handsome species not yet in cultivation Alfred Rehder.