Gardening Magazine

Plant of the Week: Edgeworthia Chrysantha

By Davis Landscape Architecture @DavisLandArch
Edgeworthia chrysantha (18/02/2012, Kew, London)

Edgeworthia chrysantha (18/02/2012, Kew, London)

Position: Full sun to dappled shade

Flowering period: Late winter to early spring

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 2.5m

Eventual Spread: 2.5m

Hardiness: 9a to 10b

Family: Thymelaeaceae

Edgeworthia chrysantha is a medium sized open, rounded, deciduous shrub. The dark green leaves are lanceolate, entire, up to 20cm long and 5cm wide, have fine hairs and are clustered at the ends of its branches. The branches are generally upright, are extremely flexible and are trichotomous (branching in threes). The bark is cinnamon color. Its yellow fragrant flowers are tubular with white hairs on their exterior, they appear in clusters on spherical heads which are up to 5cm across. The fruits are purple and are often covered in the remains of the flower.

Edgeworthia chrysantha, commonly known as the Oriental Paperbush or Chinese Oriental Paperbush, is native to south west China and Nepal. Edgeworthia chrysantha is synonymous with Edgeworthia papyrifera. It was introduced into the UK in the mid 19th Century.

The etymological root of the binomial name Edgeworthia is named after Michael Pakenham Edgeworth (1812-1881), a Victorian amateur botanist. Chrysantha is derived from the Greek xrus ‘golden’ and enteron ’guts’, i.e. the flower is golden on the inside.

Edgeworthia chrysantha (18/02/2012, Kew, London)

Edgeworthia chrysantha (18/02/2012, Kew, London)

The landscape architect may find Edgeworthia chrysantha useful for planting at the edge of an ornamental woodland or against a wall. It requires a sheltered position, including a north facing wall.

Ecologically, E. chrysantha is a valuable source of nectar and pollen in the late winter months for bees and butterflies.

E. chrysantha prefers moist, humus rich, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate dry or wet soils.

E. chrysantha requires little maintenance.


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