Edgeworthia chrysantha – Oriental Paper Bush

This is the emerging flower of Edgeworthia chrysantha.  In our garden this uncommon shrub struggles on year after year, being nibbled by squirrels and deer, rocked by strong winds that tunnel past it and generally ignored.  For a large part of the year it is one of the invisible plants, lurking in the background, waiting for an opportunity to shine, and this it does from late winter to early spring.  It is quite unremarkable in summer with coarse lance shaped leaves.  The flowers, as you can see, are special.  In bud they are velvety white and open to reveal a mass of yellow trumpets.  It is in the same family as the Daphne and similarly the flowers are fragrant, scented of cloves.  It is found in the wild at woodland edges and on shrub land across several provinces of China where they use it to make paper, hence its common name of Oriental Paper Bush.  It has also naturalised in Japan.   At the weekend we visited Gorwell House to view the magnificent magnolia collection (and they were indeed magnificent!).  Whilst exploring we came across a specimen of Edgeworthia that was superior in every way to our example – better form and larger flowers that were held upright in yellow pom poms.  I was accompanied by The Green Eyed Monster to have a closer look only to be told by the Doctor that it was in fact Edgeworthia grandiflora.  This made me feel slightly better and got me wondering where we could get one.

There are 2 working days until we open and my mood is swinging between “easy peasy” and “never in a million years”, often on an hourly basis.  Mostly I am concerned that I am not concerned enough.


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