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Garden Plants for Flower Arranging: Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox)

wintersweetWintersweet is a vigorous deciduous shrub native to China where it grows in mountainous forests. The small pendent flowers are fragrant and have yellow tepals with purple centers. They appear on leafless stems from the previous year’s growth in late winter to early spring filling the air with a spicy fragrance. The dark green leaves are lustrous and almond-shaped. Plants take a long time to bloom but are well worth the wait because of the fragrance they provide. A single twig in an arrangement will fill a room with its scent. A shrub in an entryway provides fragrance as winter turns to spring. The cultivar ‘Grandiflorus’ has larger flowers than the species but is not as fragrant.

Cutting: No special needs
Conditioning: Make a 2” vertical cut in the end of the stem and give a long drink of warm water.
Drying: Not relevant

    Size: 10-15’ H x 8-12’ W.
    Light: Sun to light shade
    Soil: Average, moist, well drained, and preferably acidic
    Hardiness: Zones 7-9
    Propagation: Seed, softwood cuttings
    Care: Prune immediately after flowering if necessary

Recommended Reading:

Flowers: The Book of Floral Design
Tussie-Mussies: The Language of Flowers
The Complete Flower Arranging Book
The Flower Workshop
Infinite Succulents
Container Gardeners Handbook
The Plant Recipe Book
Seasonal Flower Arranging
Martha's Flowers