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Chimonanthus praecox

Phonetic Spelling
ky-mon-ANTH-us PRE-koks
Description

Wintersweet is a fragrant deciduous shrub with delicate translucent flowers that appear in the winter and spring months. This medium to coarse textured plant can grow in a range of soil conditions as long as it is moist and well-drained but should be planted in full sun to partial shade. Its multi-stemmed, loose form has a fountain-like effect and it often becomes leggy and ragged with age. If the plant becomes leggy after flowering it can be severely pruned to rejuvenate and remove old stems.  

Quick ID Hints:

  • Opposite leaves, rough to the touch.
  • Cane-like growth, fountain-shaped bush
  • Yellow, fragrant winter flowers, purplish inside
  • Deciduous shrub, blooms in winter, when leafless

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  No serious problems. 

 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Grandiflorus'
    showier and purer-yellow flowers than the species, inner petals a striped maroon, not as fragrant. Leaves may be a bit larger an
  • 'Luteus'
    Dark gold flowers
'Grandiflorus', 'Luteus'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#yellow#fragrant flowers#shrub#yellow flowers#deciduous shrub#spring flowers#winter interest#playground#children's garden#edible fruits#spring interest#fantz#fountain form#winter flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Grandiflorus'
    showier and purer-yellow flowers than the species, inner petals a striped maroon, not as fragrant. Leaves may be a bit larger an
  • 'Luteus'
    Dark gold flowers
'Grandiflorus', 'Luteus'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#yellow#fragrant flowers#shrub#yellow flowers#deciduous shrub#spring flowers#winter interest#playground#children's garden#edible fruits#spring interest#fantz#fountain form#winter flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Chimonanthus
    Species:
    praecox
    Family:
    Calycanthaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China North-Central, China South-Central & China Southeast
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts pollinators. Birds feed on the fruit.
    Play Value:
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 13 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 8 ft. 0 in. - 12 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Multi-stemmed
    Multi-trunked
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Dappled Sunlight (Shade through upper canopy all day)
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Spring
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
    Fruit Description:
    Non-showy fruit. Urn-shaped receptacle bearing 5-8 bean-shaped achenes, non-ornamental.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Cup
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    0.7-1 in. waxy, yellowish-white, cupped flowers in winter to early spring on leafless stems. The flowers are fragrant with purple centers and occur on the previous season's growth. The inner tepals brown or purple, outer tepals yellow.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Rough
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cuneate
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves are green and the veins can be easily seen since the vein are a lighter color. Opposite, simple, lustrous, dark green leaves; 2.5-6 in. long; yellow-green fall color. Ovate-lanceolate, entire, acuminate, cuneate, rough to the touch.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Black
    Dark Brown
    Bark Description:
    Bark is dark brown to black.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Orange
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Squarish, shiny gray-brown, covered with orange-brown lenticels; cane-like growth.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Garden for the Blind
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Attracts:
    Pollinators
    Songbirds