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Calycanthus chinensis

Calycanthus chinensis
Chinese sweetshrub

Synonym(s) Sinocalycanthus chinensis
Common name Chinese sweetshrub
Family calycanthaceae
Life cycle deciduous shrub (Z6-8)
Flowers white (summer)
Size 5-10'
Light part shade
Cultural notes ordinary garden soil, not too dry
From seed germinate at room temperature, 2-6 weeks
detailed seed-starting info below
Seed ripensearly November

Deciduous shrub with glossy mid-green leaves, and camellia-like flowers up to 4" diameter. We grew ours from seed in 2004; in June of 2008 we were finally treated to our first blooms - although they're nowhere near four inches - probably more like two inches diameter.
As youngsters, our shrubs were eaten down to the ground by rabbits one winter. They were undoubtedly set back a bit, but survived. The next few winters, I protected them with wire cages. Eventually, they grew large enough to fend for themselves. Then one year, they decided they'd had enough, and did not return. It may be that their exposure had become too shady because of the growth of nearby shrubs and trees. Luckily, one of my seedlings from several years ago survived – the young shrub is now planted in a sunnier spot.

Calycanthus chinensis
Chinese sweetshrub
Developing fruit: early July
Calycanthus chinensis
Still developing: late August

This plant used to grow in our garden, but it slipped away...

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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Seed-starting details for this plant

  1. Seed from '03 trade. Pot 65F (67%G, 12-40d)
  2. Seed from '08 garden. Baggy 70F (20d) - nicked with file - 70F (4d) - 35F (6w) - 70F (9d; 40%G, 6d) - nicked with knife - 70F (40%G, 14d)
  3. Seed from '08 garden. File-nicked deep, baggy 70F (80%G, 13-18d)

Fast-growing seedlings.

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