Wintersweet

Wintersweet

Chimonanthus or wintersweet is a genus of flowering plants in the family Calycanthaceae, endemic to China. The genus includes three to six species and are deciduous or evergreen shrubs growing to 2–13 m tall. The flowers are 2–3 cm wide, with numerous spirally-arranged yellow or white tepals; they are strongly scented, and produced in late winter or early spring before the new leaves. The flowers are said to be edible, and can be used to flavor tea. The fruit is an elliptic dry capsule 3–4 cm long.

In China Chimonanthus was domesticated during the Song Dynasty and inspired courtly poems from the eleventh century. Prunings are dried and kept to perfume linen cupboards. The shrub was introduced to Japanese gardens from China in the early Edo period, probably between 1611 and 1629. Its introduction into European gardens, from Japan, is noted for England, 1766, when it was grown in the conservatory at Croome Court, Worcestershire for the sixth Earl of Coventry.

Credit: Wikipedia