Belle of the ball – Calycanthus

I am known to be on the lookout for promising ballerinas (see Arisaema and Primula –rina)… This year my eyes were drawn by the Carolina allspice seedlings. Surely there is great promise; I just don’t know if in the ballet because after the first stage the twirled cotyledons have rapidly put on some weight ;) but there are other genres to try out…

The belle of the ball in the germinatrix: Calycanthus floridus seedlings with convoluted cotyledons (which are rarely seen in other species):

Calycanthus floridus seedlings

Calycanthus floridus convoluted cotyledons

Calycanthus floridus with first true leaves

Calycanthus floridus seedlings with the first true leaves

This is an excerpt from the shop about Carolina allspice and I have nothing else to add:
“Calycanthus floridus is a deciduous shrub with glossy, aromatic foliage that can grow to about 3-4 m high, and the same or more in width. Remarkable when in flower; it has fragrant, red-wine coloured, and many petaled flowers that look a bit like Magnolia flowers; very attractive for pollinators too.
It is a very adaptable shrub that can grow from sun to shade, in almost any type of soil, and is very resistant to pests. A really trouble-free shrub for any garden; on my list of ‘to do it for myself”…


Calycanthus floridus seeds - nicked and soaked before to sowing

Calycanthus floridus seeds – nicked and soaked prior to sowing

2 replies
  1. Inger Knudsen
    Inger Knudsen says:

    I love this shrub, the scent is wonderful. In a very cold winter it dies back in my Guelph garden, and the I get no flowers, but it is worth waiting for

    • diversifolius
      diversifolius says:

      I love it too. Now that I have more garden space there is a ‘small’ list of must have native shrubs. Maybe I can speed up the collection after the Master Gardeners and the Arboretum sales this year.

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