Deutzia scabra (Fuzzy Deutzia)

Deutzia scabra on 6-6-13, #153-1.

Fuzzy Deutzia, Fuzzy Pride of Rochester

Deutzia scabra

DOOT-zee-uh  SKAY-bruh

Synonyms of Deutzia scabra (26) (Updated on 12-26-22 from Plants of the World Online): Deutzia crenata var. angustifolia Regel (1856), Deutzia crenata f. angustifolia (Regel) Nakai (1921), Deutzia crenata f. candidissima (Bonard) H.Hara (1957), Deutzia crenata candidissima-plena Fröbel ex Bonard (1869), Deutzia crenata f. plena (Maxim.) Nakai (1921), Deutzia crenata var. plena Maxim. (1867), Deutzia crenata var. thunbergiana (Maxim.) Zaik. (1966), Deutzia crenata var. watereri Lemoine (1902), Deutzia kiushiana Koidz. ex Nakai (1921), Deutzia microcarpa Nakai (1921), Deutzia reticulata Koidz. (1929), Deutzia scabra f. albopunctata C.K.Schneid. (1904 publ. 1905), Deutzia scabra f. angustifolia (Regel) Voss (1896), Deutzia scabra f. candidissima Rehder (1900), Deutzia scabra f. marmorata (Rehder) Rehder (1949), Deutzia scabra var. marmorata Rehder (1900), Deutzia scabra f. plena (Maxim.) C.K.Schneid. (1904 publ. 1905), Deutzia scabra var. punctata Rehder (1914), Deutzia scabra var. sieboldiana (Maxim.) H.Hara (1957), Deutzia scabra var. thunbergiana Maxim. (1867), Deutzia sieboldiana Maxim. (1867), Deutzia sieboldiana var. dippeliana C.K.Schneid. (1904 publ. 1905), Deutzia sieboldii Körn. (1867), Deutzia subvelutina Nakai (1926), Deutzia teradakensis Nakai (1935), Deutzia thunbergiana (Maxim.) C.K.Schneid. ex Koidz. (1930)

Deutzia scabra Thunb. is the accepted scientific name of this shrub. The genus and species were named and described as such by Carl Peter Thunberg in Nova Genera Plantarum in 1781.

As of 12-26-22 when this page was last updated, Plants of the World Online lists 68 species in the Deutzia genus. It is a member of the plant family Hydrangeaceae with 9 genera. Those numbers could change as updates are made on POWO.

I had originally thought this was an Abelia x grandiflora when I did my first research to identify this shrub. However, thanks to one of my blog readers, Jean Molnar, it has been correctly identified as a Deutzia scabra.

There are a few cultivars that it could be such as ‘Plena’, Codsell’ or ‘Codsell Pink’, or at least their flowers look like this shrub. My grandparents planted this shrub possibly in the 1960’s so I have no way of knowing the actual cultivar name. This shrub is likely close to 60 years old… 


Deutzia scabra flowers on 6-6-13, #153-2.

This Deutzia scabra was one of the original shrubs planted by my grandparents probably in the 1960’s. I am just guessing because my grandparents built their house here on the farm in 1958 and I was born in December 1960. This shrub is one of several others that were along the garden fence on the south side of the house along the driveway. They are all still here and I don’t remember a time when they weren’t. It was one of my favorite shrubs when I lived here after my grandfather died in the early 1980’s and still is. Hard to believe it has lived for so many years and has continued to remain a small clump without spreading into a massive clump like the Lilacs and Quince have done. The Forsythia has also behaved nicely but I don’t want to talk about the Crape Myrtle.

I moved to my grandparent’s farm after grandpa died in early 1981. I got married and moved in 1987 and then my parents built a home here (where the south garden and apple orchard were). They had my grandparent’s old house torn down after that. I moved back here in 2013 to take care of the farm and help out. Mom passed in 2013 and dad passed in 2018 and I am still here…

Deutzia scabra flowers on 6-6-13, #153-3.

I didn’t know the name of this shrub because I have never encountered it anywhere else. I did online searches and the best I could come up with was that it was an Abelia x grandiflora, which is now a synonym of Linnaea. Even though some of the photos of Abelia/Linnaea flowers did look similar at the time, later when I did research again I didn’t think so. So, I wrote a post about this shrub and a blog reader commented that it was a Deutzia scabra. I think she hit the nail on the head.

Family: Hydrangeaceae
Origin: Japan
Zones: 5-8
Light: Full sun to part shade
Size: 6-10 feet tall x 4-8 feet wide. Well, ours was 13 1/2 feet tall.
Flowers: White and pink bell-shaped flowers May-June.

Deutzia scabra on 6-11-13, #155-10.

Deutzia scabra is a native of Japan and has been introduced to other Asian countries, Europe and North America. Well, that is what Wikipedia says. Most “ornamental” plants are much more widespread than we really know and back in the 1800’s this shrub was likely fairly popular in some areas. They are fairly erect deciduous shrubs with rounded top and arching branches. Well, that kind of depends on how and when they are pruned… This Deutzia scabra hadn’t been pruned for several years when the photo was taken in 2013.

Deutzia scabra on 10-25-13, #198-5.

 Once the excitement of the flowers has passed, it is just a normal shrub. As with many old shrubs, they will get straggly if you don’t prune them every few years.


Deutzia scabra on 4-10-15, #236-26.

The Deutzia scabra is always one of the first shrubs to bud out in the spring.

Deutzia scabra buds on 4-21-17, #242-18.

The flower buds usually start in mid-April for May flowers.

Deutzia scabra flowers on 5-21-15, #260-19.

This shrub puts on a great show from May through June. It is always LOADED!

Deutzia scabra on 6-3-15, #265-1.

It is weird that a shrub that produces flowers like this wasn’t more popular during the time some of the older homes in town were built. I see a lot of old Spirea, Forsythia, Quince, and Lilac but no Deutzia. When I was a kid playing in my grandparent’s yard I really didn’t think much about their shrubs. As I grew older and spent more tie with grandpa, it was usually in the garden and I didn’t think to ask grandma much about her plants. By the time I became interested in plants it was too late… It would have been nice to know where and when they got this Deutzia. My grandparents were great gardeners and they ordered a lot of plants and seeds from mail-order catalogs. They usually saved their own vegetable seeds but they were always coming up with something new and interesting. I think I inherited that from them.


Deutzia scabra on 5-20-17, #331-1.

It is highly possible they purchased this Deutzia from a mail-order company. They may not have been that popular because of the height they could attain. Back then, though, there weren’t that many smaller growing cultivars available. Every shrub basically needed regular maintenance.

My dad in front of the Deutzia scabra on 5-20-17, #331-2.

I asked my dad to stand in front of the Deutzia for a photo. I wanted to show how tall the shrub was in comparison to him. I am sure he thought I was a little whacky at the time. He was 86 when I took the photo.

Deutzia scabra flowers on 5-20-17, #331-3.


Deutzia scabra on 9-10-17, #373-1.

I had been wanting to give the Deutzia a good pruning for a while but I kept putting it off. I really like this shrub in all its glory and the thought of pruning it disturbed me. But, it was a problem mowing around it. Information online says the Deutzia flowers on new growth and there is a lot of old growth for sure. Dad told me he had pruned it back many years ago.

Deutzia scabra on 10-11-17, #382-13.

So, on 10-11-17, I finally pruned it. It was impossible to measure how tall it was, so when I started pruning, I measured the height of where I cut and the tallest stem after I cut it. The combined measurement was 13 1/2 feet.


Deutzia scabra on 5-6-18, #436-1.

Well, at least I didn’t kill it with the pruning. There are still a few old dead stems that need to be removed. It didn’t look that good during the summer so I didn’t take any more photos. Give it time to grow… And grow it did…


Deutzia scabra on 5-25-19, #576-51.

The Deutzia scabra grew a lot in the summer of 2018 and put on another great display in 2019.

Deutzia scabra on 6-1-19, #580-1.


Deutzia scabra on 6-1-19, #580-2.


Deutzia scabra on 6-1-19, #580-3.

I really like this Deutzia scabra for its great flowers. Even though they need a little trimming off and on, they come back perfectly fine. I have never noticed any issues with this shrub as far as insect pests are concerned. There are several cultivars available but they are not as common as many other shrubs for the landscape. As I mentioned before, they stay put without sending up offshoots from their roots out in the yard like a lot of other ornamental shrubs do. There may be cultivars that don’t grow as tall.

Here it is on December 26 in 2022 and I haven’t taken any new photos of the Deutzia since 2019. I guess I need to take more photos. Plus, it needs another pruning…

I hope you enjoyed this page and maybe found it useful. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, I would like to hear from you. Please click on “like” if you visited this page. It helps us bloggers stay motivated. 🙂 You can check out the links below for further reading. The links take you directly to the genus and species of this plant. If you notice I made an error, please let me know. Of course, you can always send me an email at


2 comments on “Deutzia scabra (Fuzzy Deutzia)

  1. Theo says:

    Hello just read your article, Nice work on trying to figure the whole abelia vs Linnaea debate, in england most plant websites are still using abelia…. so go figure it is confusing. re your pictures you call them abelia how ever they look different than the flowers I have seen. check this link out your ones look more like a pink Deutzia ´pride of rochester´ . anyway please keep up the good work!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Theo! Thanks for the info about the Deutzia. I haven’t heard of that shrub before but they sure do look similar to the Abelia. Strange they aren’t even in the same family to look so much alike. I looked at the photos on Gardener’s World and they sure do look a little different. The photos of the Abelia x grandiflora on the Missouri Botanic Garden do look like my shrub (or at least they did before). I have to do a little more investigating. Heck, maybe my shrub is actually a Deutzia. Thanks for the great comment!


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