Plant ID forum: Shrub ID - Woody stem, Waxy leaf, Pink flower

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Name: Chris Bielle
Bedfordshire/Hertfordshire - U
Jun 7, 2016 12:32 AM CST

One of my customers has a large shrub in her garden which has grown very large from a small cutting - the shrub is now about 20 years old. This year, we noticed it had started to look very sad from the center outwards. We are trying to determine what the shrub is as well as the cause of the issue.

The outer edges look very healthy, however the middle has a lot of dead wood and the leaves have started to yellow. On removing a few of the dead stems we noticed a few small patches of white fungus.

The shrub itself is very woody, with small-medium sized waxy leaves and delicate star shaped pink flowers. After some light research I found it might be a type of ceanothus but still unsure.

If anyone can help ID the shrub and perhaps shed some light on the ailment, would be greatly appreciated.

Here is the shrub in the border (center)
Thumb of 2016-06-07/chrisbielle/c40446
Here are the healthy leaves
Thumb of 2016-06-07/chrisbielle/8b6f02
Here are the flowers
Thumb of 2016-06-07/chrisbielle/39adf3
And finally, here are the yellow leaves
Thumb of 2016-06-07/chrisbielle/d10cf0

Many thanks, Chris
Name: Sue
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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Jun 7, 2016 4:57 AM CST
Welcome! Chris. I lived in Hertfordshire for a number of years but I'm forgetting some of the plants that will grow in the UK. Rather more restricted options here in USDA zone 4! We need to ID the plant to know what might affect it, so I'm going to suggest moving the thread to the Plant ID forum.

But I notice the palm and Mahonia (?) in the pic don't look happy either?
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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Jun 7, 2016 2:23 PM CST

It looks like Escallonia, which is widely sold here. I can't say which variety it is. I had a similarly coloured one years ago but it grew too big and straggly, the flowers were quite small and a dark pink. I bought Apple Blossom more recently, it tends to get some yellow leaves, maybe it's the type of soil it's growing in.

Are you sure the white stuff is fungus, or could it be a type of lichen? If the wood is getting very old and gnarly that part which is going yellow could be attached to some dying wood. Dying wood will get fungi growing on it. It could be that part of the wood has split due to age, shrubs don't necessarily live forever.

My palm, Trachycarpus fortuneii looks like that Sue. The older leaves get a bit bashed and yellow, new ones growing from the centre are fine. It's the only palm which will survive the occasional extreme temperatures here. I grew mine from a young plug plant seedling which I got around late 1999 or early 2000, this year it's got four flower spikes!

I have a small Mahonia plant which looks yellow too, it's in poor soil near the base of an Oak tree. Some organic compost on the ground around it might help it.
[Last edited by JRsbugs - Jun 7, 2016 2:34 PM (+)]
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