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Plant of the month: Edgeworthia chrysantha

Hattie Moore, garden apprentice

Our plant of the month this January is the Edgeworthia chrysantha (paperbush). At the moment it’s not quite in bloom, but instead is proudly displaying its pendulous buds which dangle from the ends of its branches. Each bud is covered with tiny silver hairs which give the appearance of shimmering frost.

The plant’s genus is named after Michael Pakenham Edgeworth, an Irish botanist who worked for the East India Company, and ‘crysantha’ derives from Greek and means ‘golden flower’. In Japan, the shrub’s bark is used for making durable tissue paper called ‘mitsumata paper’ which is used for making bank notes.

The best is still to come with this Edgeworthia, soon the buds will burst into fragrant yellow flowers.

View it’s silvery buds for a few more weeks by the gate on the south side of the walled garden.