Thursday, March 29, 2007

Oriental Paper Bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)

Oriental Paper Bush
Edgeworthia chrysantha
(edj-WOR-thee-uh) (pap-ih-RIFF-er-uh)

This shrub was growing in the Ladies Border at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and I took this picture last year. You can always get a couple of good pictures of some unusual plants in the Ladies Border. The Bearded Iris collection is there also. It must be a sheltered location as most sources say that this shrub is hardy to USDA Zone 8 and I think the NYBG, in general, is Zone 7. There are a few other plants in the border that I generally wouldn’t consider hardy in NYC. I visited the Ladies Border when I went down to the garden to see the New York City Orchid Show a couple of weeks ago and the Paper Bush looked like it had tried to bloom in January and had been frosted back. Last spring it was blooming beautifully and is a very nice shade of yellow. This shrub belongs to the Thymelaeaceae family which I wasn’t familiar with but includes the Daphnes. The plant gets about 6 feet tall, blooms very early and has fragrant flowers. There is also an orangey red form known as ‘Red Dragon’. Plants should be sited in full sun or light shade and it makes a good edge of the woodland plant. It should be permanently sited, as it does not like being disturbed after planting. The bark is used to make high-grade paper that is used for banknotes and other uses.

Today was a little colder and very windy out in the garden but it didn’t dampen my spirits. I continued cleaning and observing the big garden that I take care of. I am noticing a bit more winter damage than I had initially saw.

Synonyms: Edgeworthia papyrifera, Edgeworthia tomentosa

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