Japanese Lily of the valley bush
Pieris japonica is an evergreen shrub with a compact growth habit. It is clothed in smallish, glossy green leaves and there is also an attractive form with variegated leaves that are green with a creamy yellow margin. Panicles of little, lantern-shaped white flowers adorn the shrubs in spring. Being a member of the Erica family, they enjoy damp, lightly shaded conditions and an acid soil. All the photographs illustrating this article were taken in South Africa, a clear indication that Japanese plants adapt well to growing conditions in certain parts of our land. Whilst many of them are not readily available from garden centres, they’re certainly worth pursuing, especially if you’re an avid plant connoisseur.