General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Water Preferences: Wet
Wet Mesic
Soil pH Preferences: Strongly acid (5.1 – 5.5)
Moderately acid (5.6 – 6.0)
Slightly acid (6.1 – 6.5)
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 6a -23.3 °C (-10 °F) to -20.6 °C (-5 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 8b
Plant Height: 3 to 6 feet; to 10 feet possible
Plant Spread: 3 to 6 feet; or more
Leaves: Good fall color
Fruit: Other: brown dry ball-shaped 5-parted capsule
Fruiting Time: Late summer or early fall
Late fall or early winter
Flowers: Showy
Flower Color: White
Bloom Size: Under 1"
Flower Time: Late spring or early summer
Underground structures: Rhizome
Suitable Locations: Bog gardening
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Drought tolerant
Salt tolerant
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Various insects
Miscellaneous: Monoecious

Common names
  • Dusty Zenobia
  • Honeycup
Botanical names
  • Accepted: Zenobia pulverulenta
  • Synonym: Zenobia speciosa

Photo Gallery

Date: c. 1909
photo [as Z. speciosa] from 'Irish Gardening', 1909

Date: c. 1909
photo from 'Irish Gardening', 1909
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2016-06-10
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Date: 2012-06-10
white flowers near the big pond

Date: c. 1802
illustration of Zenobia pulverulenta as Andromeda pulverulenta by
Location: Vienna, VA
Date: 2017-08-09
The undersides of the leaves are a dusty, light blue-green color.
Location: My garden in N E Pa. 
Date: 2015-07-27

Date: c. 1826
illustration from 'The Botanical Register', 1826
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Date: 2019-06-09
silvery shrub with groundcovers around
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Date: 2019-06-09
flowers and foliage

Date: 2013-08-09
Location: Vienna, VA
Date: 2017-07-31
Location: Vienna, VA
Date: 2017-08-09
Location: Jenkins Arboretum in Berwyn, Pennsylvania
Date: 2012-10-21
little round brown capsules
Location: Morris Arboretum in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date: 2018-06-29
labeled specimen
This plant is tagged in:

  • Posted by ILPARW (southeast Pennsylvania - Zone 6b) on Jun 13, 2019 12:16 PM concerning plant:
    This member of the huge Ericaceous Family with Rhododendrons, Heath, and Blueberries, is native to coastal North & South Carolina and to two spots in the Appalachian Mountains in western North Carolina in bogs, swamps, near springs, dunes, barrens, and glades. It is very flood tolerant and shade tolerant. It grows in acid, wet to average soils. The leaves are alternate, simple, 1 to 3 inches long, with a glaucous, gray bloom on both upper and lower surfaces, being especially bluish-white underneath. It can get a red or purple fall color late in autumn. The small, waxy, white flowers are bell-like as blueberry flowers in nodding clusters on one side of the stalk, blooming in June. The brown, round capsule fruit appears in late summer until early spring. Dusty Zenobia forms colonies by its shallow stoloniferous stems and it is easy to transplant. It is offered by some native plant and specialty nurseries. I've only seen three specimens: two at Jenkins Arboretum in southeast Pennsylvania, one on a slope and one near the big pond, and a bigger plant at Morris Arboretum in Philly. Beautiful and interesting plant! I bet this would look great in a big tub with peaty, acid soil, if one can't grow it in their yard due to heavy, less acid or alkaline soil.

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