Sweet shrub, Calycanthus fertilis

Bush of the family Calycanthaceae (idem: Chimonanthus)

Etymology: "canthus" is a Latin word which means " the wheel " or "the iron band which encircles the wheel", in allusion to the radiant form of the flower.
Origin: North America.
Habitat: Calycanthus makes the best of all soils. It prefers a sunny position, sheltered from the wind.
Hardiness: Zone 6 (until -23 °). Under very cold climate, it is recommended to plant it against a wall which will return the heat of the sun, this to favour growth and blossoming.
Height: 1-2 m tall.
Shape: spread large. Branches are first upright then drooping.
Foliage: deciduous. Opposite, simple leaves, obovate, acuminate, clear veined. They are 5 - 15 cm long on 2 - 6 cm broad.
Flowers: upright, of carmine red colour. They appear in spring, after leaves. Diameter from 4 to 7 cm. Tepals unfurl a little like the magnolias and give it a shape of a spider.
Fruits: capsules of 6 cm long on 2,5 cm in diameter, containing many seeds.

Calycanthus floridus: from the East Coast (south Mississippi Pennsylvania, Ohio, north of the Florida).
Calycanthus occidentalis: West coast (California and Seattle).


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