Edgeworthia chrysantha


Most flowers reward close examination and Edgeworthia chrysantha, the paperbush plant is no exception. Its often downward facing flowerhead are made up of a mass of small yellow flowers opening from a cluster of buds covered in a fine silky down. These images are of a specimen which grows near the building housing the Botanical Cafe at the Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and which I make a point of scrutinising at this time every year.

The shrub is named for Michael Pakenham Edgeworth, an Irish botanist, who whilst working in the Indian civil service in the mid C19,  collected plants, reporting upon his discoveries in scientific papers when he returned to London. The shrub which bears his name originates in China. The fibres from the bark of the plant are used for making ‘mitsumata’ a kind of Japanese tissue.


3 thoughts on “Edgeworthia chrysantha

  1. This is one of the ‘companion plants’ that is popular among rhododendron enthusiasts, although I do not understand why. My colleague has one doing quite well, but it is not much to get attention in the company of winter blooming rhododendrons. Yet, I can not argue with the rhododendron enthusiasts.

    1. I wasn’t aware of it being planted alongside rhododendrons. I guess it likes shady sites but I don’t know if it’s a lime hater. Thank you for your comment. It’s great to learn more about plants through the blogs.

      1. It is not planted alongside them so much, but in the same arboretum. For some odd reason, the clan that really likes rhododendrons really likes Edgeworthia chrysantha too. I was not too impressed with it, but have enjoyed growing exemplary specimens for those who really appreciate it. Those with more compact garden space really do grow them in conjunction with rhododendrons and azaleas and camellias.

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