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Chimonanthus praecox

wintersweet

C. praecox is a deciduous shrub with a bushy, much-branched habit, growing to 2.5m or higher against a wall. Leaves are lance-shaped, 5-12cm long, shining dark green. Flowers solitary or in small groups, almost stemless, borne in winter at the joints of the previous summer's shoots. Highly fragrant, the outer tepals almost tranparent, yellowish-green, inner tepals shorter, dark reddish purple

Other common names
Japan all-spice
Synonyms
Calycanthus praecox
Chimonanthus fragrans
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Size
Ultimate height
2.5–4 metres
Time to ultimate height
10–20 years
Ultimate spread
1.5–2.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained, Well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Yellow Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green Brown Green
Winter Red Yellow
Position
  • Full sun
Aspect

South–facing or East–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Calycanthaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Bushy
Genus

Chimonanthus can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs with simple leaves and highly fragrant, bowl-shaped, many-petalled flowers borne in winter, followed by cylindrical or urn-shaped seed capsules

Name status

Correct

Plant range
China

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How to grow

Cultivation

Grow in well-drained soil in a sheltered position in full sun

Propagation

Propagate by seed in containers in a cold frame as soon as ripe. Can also be propagated by softwood cuttings in summer

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Low Maintenance
  • Flower borders and beds
  • Wall side borders
Pruning

Pruning group 1

Pests

Generally pest free

Diseases

Generally disease free

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