Wednesday, January 9, 2019

More Fragrance in the Winter Garden

This is the second in my series of Fragrance in the Winter Garden. This past fall and early winter I haven't been in my garden as often as usual. A couple days ago I went out, camera in hand to see how things were doing and get reacquainted with my garden. I was so thrilled to see so many plants in bloom. There are a number of winter bloomers that do quite well in my zone 7b/8a garden.
This post showcases Edgeworthia chrysantha. Its common name is Paperbush plant. It reliably blooms from January through March and yes, is incredibly fragrant.
This deciduous shrub is native to China. The inner bark is used to make quality paper, hence the name. While my focus for this post is the fragrant blooms, its leaves that emerge in the spring are noteworthy as well. These oblong leaves are large, up to 5 inches long and a couple inches wide, are fuzzy and deer resistant. With the large canopy of leaves in the growing season I get a micro-climate under the Edgeworthia for ferns, hosta, Hellebore, and other shade loving plants.

The fuzzy umbelliferous flowers have up to 40 tubular florets, white on the outside and sunny yellow inside, visible once open. These flower buds form in the late summer, undetected because of the large leaves. After a few frosts and the leaves fall off the buds are quite apparent. Before the flowers open one might say the fuzzy buds look like pussy toes.

Once the whole bush is in full bloom, the entire yard is filled with its fragrance. The shrubs are hardy zones 7- 10. They can take direct sun but do better when protected from hot afternoon sun. Edgeworthia is said to get between 4 to 6 feet tall and wide. I am finding that to be pretty accurate. It does put up a lot of suckers at the base of the shrub. These suckers can be dug up and shared with friends.

One side of my house has four full sized Edgeworthia and the fragrance that wafts from these beauties makes sitting on the deck enjoyable, even on a chilly day.

©Copyright 2019 Janet. All rights reserved. Content created by Janet for The Queen of Seaford. words and photos by Janet,The Queen of Seaford.

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