By Kerry Ann Mendez
Looking for something a little different to add to your landscape this spring? Pieris japonica, commonly called Lily of the Valley shrub, is woefully underused.
This evergreen, deer resistant shrub is a year-round standout. Its shiny, dark green leaves will provide an attractive anchor in the winter landscape and come spring, the plant is smothered with white or pink dangling flowers that are prized by nectar-seeking bees, including our native mason bee.
New foliage will emerge as the flowers fade and the lush new growth of many cultivars is a lovely red, pink or bronze. Pieris is a slow growing shrub that likes part shade to shade in nutrient rich, acidic soil (like many Rhododendron).