Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Calycanthus - Allspice

A genus of 6 species from Asia and North America that somewhat resemble the Magnolicas. They are easy to grow and prefer partial to full sun on cool, moist soil.
The Calycanthus are tolerant of flooding and are rarely bothered by pests or disease.
Propagation is from seed sown upon ripening and layering. Softwood cuttings can be taken with more difficulty during summer.

Calycanthus fertilis ( Allspice )
A large shrub native to the southeast U.S. reaching up to 8 feet or rarely a maximum size of 13 x 17 feet. The shiny, deep green foliage is up to 6 inches in length.
The purple-red flowers are up to 2 inches across and are mildly fragrant.
Hardy zones 4 to 9, it thrives far north of it's natural range to as far as Ottawa, Canada.

* photo taken on April 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on May 5 2010 in Columbia, MD


* photos taken on Sep 15 2013 in Howard Co., MD

* photo taken on May 7 2014 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD


'Purpureus'
purple tinged foliage

Calycanthus floridus ( Carolina Allspice )
The most common Allspice which is native to the southeast U.S. and can become a fast growing, dense, large shrub to 9 feet or rarely more. Its natural range is from Ohio to Pennsylvania; south to Mississippi to northern Florida. Some growth records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 5 feet; 5 years - 5 x 6 feet; 10 years - 9 x 10 feet; largest on record - 15 x 19 feet.
The oval leaves are up to 7 x 3 inches in size. The foliage is dull, deep green above and downy beneath; turning to deep yellow during autumn.
The faintly fragrant flowers are up to 2 inches across and are deep red.
Hardy zones 4 to 9 and tolerant of flooding. It is hardy far north of it's natural range to as far north as Ottawa, Canada. Thrives in sun or shade. It can spread by suckering.

* photo taken on May 16 2010 @ Cylburn Arboretum, Baltimore, MD

* photos taken on October 14 2010 in Crownsville, MD


* photos taken on June 30 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on May 6 2015 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on Apr 28 2017 in Ellicott City, MD

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Athens'
Reaches up to 8 x 10 feet in 10 years with glossy, deep green foliage that turns attractive buttery yellow in autumn. The light yellow flowers are very sweetly fragant. This cultivar blooms heavily in May and sporadically lasting into mid summer.

* photos taken on June 22 2014 in Howard Co., MD


'Katherine'
A rare form that is dense in habit with deep green foliage and very fragrant yellow flowers.

'Michael Lindsey'
Dense, compact and globular, reaching up to 10 x 10 feet in 10 years.
The foliage is glossy deep green turning very attractive butter yellow in autumn.
The flowers are red-brown, fragrant and long lasting in late spring.

Calycanthus occidentalis ( California Allspice )
Very similar to Calycanthus fertilis but is native to California and Oregon.
It is a very vigorous, rounded, dense, handsome shrub up to 15 feet though can grow larger and even trained as a small tree. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 6 ( rarely over 3 ) feet; largest on record - 20 x 33 feet. There are also reports of 6 feet in 8 years in North Carolina far from its native range.
The leathery, oval leaves are large, up to 8 x 3 inches in size. The glossy deep green foliage turns to a very attractive buttery yellow during autumn. The Magnolia-like foliage is aromatic.
The fragrant flowers are also large, and on some forms up to 3 inches across. The flowers are reddish but can fade to yellow with age. This species can bloom from mid-spring to late summer.
Hardy zones 6 to 9 in full sun or partial shade on deep, fertile, moist, well drained soil whether sand or clay. Prefers a site protected from excessive wind. Unlike species native to the eastern U.S., this one prefers a cooler climate such as is found in the Pacific Northwest and the British Isles though does grow in cooler summer parts of the east such as milder parts of the Great Lakes and Cape Cod. Rarely eaten by deer.

* photo taken by Jean Pawek @ CalPhotos


Sinocalycanthus chinensis
A deciduous shrub native to eastern and central China that can reach up to 12 feet or more. Some records include: fastest recorded growth rate - 4.5 feet; 5 years - 10 x 10 feet; largest on record - 17 x 15 feet.
The spicy aromatic, elliptical, taper pointed leaves are up to 8 x 5 or rarely 12 x 10 inches in size. The very tropical looking foliage is bronze at first, turning to glossy, deep green. The foliage turns to yellow during autumn.
The camellia like flowers are white with yellow centers, up to 4 inches across and are borne from mid spring to early summer.
The flowers are followed by hard seed capsules.
Easy to grow but prefers full sun to partial shade ( preferred where summers are hot ) and cool, moist, humus-rich, acidic, well drained soil. While not fully tested for hardiness in the U.S.; it does grow well in Michigan. Likely hardy zones 5b to 9 tolerating -15 F with no dieback.
Can be propagated from seed or layers.


* photo taken by Milan Havlis ( havlis.cz )


'Hartlage Wine'
A hybrid between Calycanthus chinensis and C. floridus, bearing very profuse, large, very showy, wine red flowers, up to 4 inches across, over a long season lasting 4 weeks or more during late spring.
The large, bold leaves are up to 12 inches in length. The glossy mid-green foliage turns to golden-yellow during autumn.
It is very vigorous, reaching a maximum size of 15 x 20 feet, with growth rates up to 6 feet having been recorded.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 on most soils in sun or shade.

* photo taken on May 1 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC



* photos taken @ Brookside Gardens "Party w the Peonies" tour in Fulton, MD on May 21 2011



* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Apr 24 2016 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on May 27 2017 @ Meadowlark Botanical Gardens, Vienna, VA


'Venus'
A hybrid between Calycanthus chinensis and C. floridus 'Athens' with large white flowers, up to 4 inches across, that resemble that of the Magnolia. Flowers heavily during spring and sparsely during summer.
Foliage is glossy deep green.
Hardy zones 5 to 8 and prefers sandy, moist, well drained soil. Moderately deer resistant ( will only eat it if they are really, really hungry ).

* photo taken on May 6 2010 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Ellicott City

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