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Oriental Paper Bush Edgeworthia chrysantha

Other Common Name(s):

Previously known as:

  • Edgeworthia papyrifera
Phonetic Spelling
edj-WOR-thee-uh kris-ANTH-uh
Description

The Irish botanist, Michael Pakenham Edgeworth and his half sister Maria Edgeworth were both honored with the naming of this plant.  Chrysantha refers to its golden yellow flowers.  The common name, Paperbush, comes from its use to produce quality paper. In Japan, the paper is used to make banknotes.

Edgeworthia, is a shrub native to China and the Himalayas that provides superb fall and winter interest and a gardenia-like fragrance.  This well-branched, well-formed shrub begins forming its silvery buds in late summer into fall, adding interest to your fall garden.  It begins to bloom in December, when it’s nothing but a bare silhouette in the garden, and continues through the winter.  The individual florets are tiny, but a few dozen make up a 1½- to 2-inch cluster of beautiful yellow flowers.

Edgeworthia thrives in partial shade and appreciates well-enriched, moist soil.  In spring, after the blooms pass, it sports lovely bluish foliage with silvery undertones that are both eye-catching and soothing. The foliage turns a nice yellow in the fall.

This shrub grows in zones 7 to 10, and in protected areas of Zone 6.  It eventually reaches 7 feet high and wide and makes a nice stand-alone specimen or back-of-the-border choice.  Space these plants about 7 feet apart in partial shade and rich, moist soil.  You don’t have to worry about missing the scent of the blooms, but you may want to plant it within reach of passersby because the foliage invites handling.  Be sure to snip a few blooms to keep the house fragrant through the winter.

Maintenance on this plant is minimal, prune to remove diseases or damaged branches.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No significant problems

VIDEO created by Ryan Contreras for “Landscape Plant Materials I:  Deciduous Hardwoods and Conifers or Landscape Plant Materials II:  Spring Flowering Trees and Shrubs” a plant identification course offered by the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University

Profile Video:
See this plant in the following landscapes:
Woodland Walk Juniper Level Botanic Gardens: Part Sun-Part Shade Gardens Border Landscape Pinewild County Club, Moore County Mountain Ridge Top Garden - East Lawn and Lower Drive Border Dry Rock Stream Garden Hydrangeas in the Garden
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Akabana'
  • 'Gold Rush'
  • 'John Bryant'
  • 'Red Dragon'
    Orange-red flowers
  • 'Snow Cream'
'Akabana', 'Gold Rush', 'John Bryant', 'Red Dragon', 'Snow Cream'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#fragrant flowers#specimen#shrub#yellow flowers#deciduous shrub#winter interest#fall interest#year-round interest#flower arrangements#disease resistant#cpp#long bloom time#cutting garden#interesting buds#pollinator plant#fall color yellow#butterfly friendly#winter flowers#winter garden#bee friendly#heat intolerant#broadleaf#insect resistant#landscape plant sleuths course#woodland border
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Akabana'
  • 'Gold Rush'
  • 'John Bryant'
  • 'Red Dragon'
    Orange-red flowers
  • 'Snow Cream'
'Akabana', 'Gold Rush', 'John Bryant', 'Red Dragon', 'Snow Cream'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#fragrant flowers#specimen#shrub#yellow flowers#deciduous shrub#winter interest#fall interest#year-round interest#flower arrangements#disease resistant#cpp#long bloom time#cutting garden#interesting buds#pollinator plant#fall color yellow#butterfly friendly#winter flowers#winter garden#bee friendly#heat intolerant#broadleaf#insect resistant#landscape plant sleuths course#woodland border
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Edgeworthia
    Species:
    chrysantha
    Family:
    Thymelaeaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Inner bark is used to make paper hence the common name.
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China and the Himalayas
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Buffer
    Colorful
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Screening
    Dimensions:
    Height: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 4 ft. 0 in. - 6 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Description:
    Dry drupes
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Good Cut
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Winter
    Flower Shape:
    Tubular
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    Tiny tubular flowers with no petals in dense umbels of 40 golden yellow flowers. Silvery flower buds appear in late summer and open in the winter when few other plants are in bloom.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Soft
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Rich narrow green leaves gray-green below, with short stalks have the best color in some shade. They turn an attractive shade of yellow in the fall. 3-5 inches long by 2 inches wide. The underside of the leaves is gray-green. Young leaves are covered with white, silky hairs.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Bark Description:
    Smooth brown bark.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Brown attractive stems
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Patio
    Walkways
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Cottage Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Foundation Planting
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Diseases
    Insect Pests