Rhodotypos scandens (Thunb.) Makino
Family: Rosaceae
Jetbead
[Corchorus scandens Thunb.,  more]
Rhodotypos scandens image
Morton Arboretum  
Shrub 0.9 - 1.8 m tall, 1.2 - 2.7 m wide Leaves: opposite, stalked, bright green above, lighter green beneath, 6.3 - 10.2 cm long, 3 - 5 cm wide, egg-shaped to egg-shaped-oblong with a pointed tip and rounded base, toothed, hairy along lower surface when young. Flowers: borne singly at ends of short twigs, white, 2.5 - 5 cm across, with four sepals and four petals. Fruit: a hard center stone covered with a thin flesh (drupe), shiny black, about 0.8 cm across, in groups of three or four, persisting until spring. Twigs: changing from shiny green to brown when young, becoming reddish brown and gray-streaked with orangish lenticels. Buds: slightly stalked, brownish green, egg-shaped, angled away from twig.

Similar species: Rhodotypos scandens is easy to distinguish from other members of the Rosaceae family because it is the only species in our area with opposite leaves and flowers with four sepals and four petals.

Flowering: late April to July

Habitat and ecology: Introduced from Asia, this species rarely escapes cultivation but has naturalized in woods and on slopes of streams.

Occurence in the Chicago region: non-native

Notes: This species is sometimes used in the landscape, but is inferior to many other shrubs. It is best suited for poor sites where better shrubs will not survive.

Etymology: Rhodotypos comes from the Greek words rhodon, meaning rose, and typos, meaning type, referring to the flower's resemblance to a rose. Scandens means climbing.

Author: The Morton Arboretum