Chimonanthus praecox – Wintersweet, Japanese all-spice – Calycanthaceae (China)
Habit: Shrub, 2-3 m tall, upright, squarrose twigs, long shoots, slow-growing.
Flowers: Single flower-bells, downwards tilted, outer tepals light yellow, inner somewhat shorter with brown-red stripes or spots, strong sweet-spicy scent, starting in December, main flower in February, on the shoots of the previous year, only flowering after mild winters.
Fruits: Jar-shaped nuts, 5-7 cm long, coarse-leathery, upper third constricted, only ripening during warm summers.
Leaves: Deciduous, simple, entire leaf margin, 20 cm, light green, glossy.
Soil: Nutritious, not too heavy, well-drained.
Hardiness: Zone 7a.
Our tip: The thermophilic shrub can easily be trained to a trellis. Older plants are more frost-hardy.