Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Like Large Snow Diamonds In the Garden: Edgeworthia Chrysantha

Any plant that give you year round interest in the garden is the plant you want to grow. Edgeworthia chrysantha, aka Paperbush, fits the bill perfectly. Just look at those fuzzy buds on my bare shrub. To me they look like large snow diamonds dangling off of the brown bark. Not only is the interest in the fuzzy buds but in the sweetly scented blooms that bloom in late winter (January through March here in Upper Middle Tennessee). Once spring arrives the shrub will get elongated green leaves that stay looking good all season long. Come fall those leaves slowly turn yellow and will fall off the shrub exposing the beautiful buds. This shrub has never failed to attract attention in my gardens.
An entire shrub really makes a big statement in the winter garden. Neither snow nor cold seems to faze them; tho you do want to plant your paperbush in a sheltered area as they are only marginally hardy to our area. Sources will tell you this shrub is hardy to Zone 7 (which we changed to in 2012) but if you plant paperbush in an exposed area you are dooming the bush. I have found through several years of growing paperbush that a north or eastern exposure is a perfect exposure and you need to plant it near a wall of a house so it can be sheltered from winds and perhaps get some heat from the house. Planting it out in the sun and in windy locations will ensure these large buds will quickly freeze and fall off prior to blooming.
As you can see mine is in a small alcove on the north side of the above brick wall. It is an area I always planned for this valued shrub even before the house was built. The hard part for me was moving my existing paperbush from the old house to this spot. I dug it in February of last year and I really had no hope it would survive but it did! Not only did it survive even though it came out of the ground bareroot, it has thrived in this area. I am hoping to get some offsets from this shrub this year so I can spread it around. Paperbush is very, very, difficult to find in my area but if you go south a state or two it is a bit more common. I lucked out and purchased this one from a vendor at the Nashville Lawn and Garden show several years ago. I never could understand why paperbush was so prominent in the display gardens at the Garden Show but was nowhere to be found for sale at the garden show. By the way, this year's Nashville Lawn and Garden Show will be held from March 3 thru March 6 at the Nashville Fairgrounds
Paperbush will like an organically rich spot with good drainage in mostly shade or part sun. Be sure to site it close to your house where you can not only enjoy the 'snow diamonds' but also enjoy the sweet scent of its bloom. Other than that sit back and enjoy the show....

in the garden....
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden


  1. What a neat plant, one I've never seen or heard of.

    Happy Winter gardening ~ FlowerLady

  2. Darn the luck. I couldn't grow it here. Those buds are pretty.

  3. I wonder if it would do here. It sure is pretty.

  4. Beautiful specimen. Thanks.

    Greetings from London.

  5. interesting bush. I was thinking in the first photo how they resemble little pumpkins and how funny, I believe I spot pumpkins in the background of another photo.