Each month the UW Botanic Gardens' Newsletter, E-Flora, posts in detail about a specific plant, among many other interesting posts about events and general information.
This month's featured plant is the lacy wintersweet or Chimonanthus praecox.
Here is the posting:
|January 2017 Plant Profile: Chimonanthus praecox|
Due to its sweetly fragrant flowers, wintersweet is one of the most popularly cultivated plants in temperate China. The flowers are used in potpourri as well as to fragrance linen, such as lavender is used in the United States. The essential oils are also used in cosmetics, perfumes and aromatherapy.
The flowers are also used in herbal teas as well as in many Chinese folk remedies for ailments from coughs to measles. Much research is being conducted, particularly in China, on the health benefits of wintersweet due to the presence of anti-fungal, anti-oxidant and biocidal chemicals. The name “Chimonanthus praecox” is derived from both Greek and Latin words meaning “very early winter flower”.
Read more about the history and uses of this winter beauty, as well as how to cultivate the plant in
your own garden.
Scientific Name: Chimonanthus praecox
Common Name: Wintersweet
Country of Origin: China
Location in the Arboretum: Joseph A. Witt Winter Garden. There are three mature specimens located throughout the Witt Winter Garden. The most prolific blooming specimen is located in the “twig bed” at the southwest corner of the garden.