VERBENACEAE, The Verbena family
Exuberant color is the key point of this deciduous shrub. The first time I saw it growing full size was in St. John’s Park in London, and I was just amazed. I stood on a footbridge, leaning over the rail with my camera, trying to get a clear photo despite the wind that wouldn’t let the branches lie still.
It is best to plant several near each other for good fruit set. And they really do grow 6 feet tall. Their overall shape will be loose and informal- it is better to go with it, I think, and achieve gracefully arching branches than to try to squeeze them where they don’t fit or make them look weird. Natural pruning, that is taking out a few of the oldest branches at the ground each year, is best done in late winter. The books say they fruit on currant season’s growth, but the ones I’ve seen are bearing on second year wood. Maybe this varies between species?