I can’t imagine why, after all these years, this is the first I’m writing about one of my favorite shrubs, Edgeworthia chrysantha, or paperbush.
Its open, well branched growth habit and winter silhouette in the garden is superb, as buds that form in the fall add interest and promise through the long winter months.
The scent is what will knock you out though. It’s slightly spicy and is one of those fragrances that you’ll get a hint of before you see the plant. Believe me, everyone will ask what it is and where you got it the first time they come across it.
Edgeworthia is native to woodlands in the Himalayas and China. The inner bark can be used to make paper, hence the name paperbush. Edgeworthia is grown in Japan expressly for making paper out of the inner bark…for bank notes.
Part shade is the best place to grow your edgeworthia. They appreciate rich soil, never too dry. If you try to grow it in too much sun the color won’t be quite as pretty. Speaking of color, in the fall the leaves turn shades of yellow. Yes, it really does give all season interest!
Mine is very wide but not at 7 feet tall yet. Here you can see it, to the left of the tree in my garden. It seems to be continuing to spread, and has suckered a bit, obviously wanting to take up some more real estate. I think I’ll let it!
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By Kris Blevons