Thursday, January 3, 2013

Edgeworthia chrysantha…my favorite plant in the garden, this week!

Most of the leaves have fallen from my Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold' leaving behind beautiful brown stems and fat flower buds which hold the promise of fragrant late-winter flowers. That’s why this is my favorite plant in the garden, this week...

I did not come easily to the Edgeworthia fan club. Watching people grab plants at a Lan Su (Portland’s Chinese Garden) plant sale one spring I remember thinking “why do you want that?”

When finally I was won over it wasn't the flowers that did it but the foliage. Visiting Cistus Nursery I spotted those big floppy leaves with their shiny veins, what’s not to love?

My appreciation of the flowers finally occurred when I saw an orange flowered plant (also at Cistus). Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Akebono'

Of course once I fell for the orange flowers it was a natural progression back to the yellow, which I actually purchased first. Why? I was told ‘Akebono’ was not as vigorous as ‘Nanjing Gold.’ However the little ‘Akebono’ twig I bought last February has grown significantly, more than doubling in size, and it has 18 flower buds!

Furry flower buds…

The stats…

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Nanjing Gold'
Eventual size…6 ft wide x 8 ft tall
Sun…sun to part shade
Water…regular, not drought tolerant
Zones…8 – 10

Edgeworthia chrysantha 'Akebono'
Eventual size…5-6 ft wide x 5-6 ft tall
Sun…sun to part shade
Water…regular, not drought tolerant
Zones…upper zone 7 – 10

No doubt you’ll be seeing more from both of these plants come late-winter/early-spring bloomdays!

(that last photo was taken at the Chinese Garden last April, my plant isn't that big!)

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