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.