Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebana’ or ‘Red Dragon’ is a wonderful form of the Chinese paper bush a very special relative of Daphne’s this is a plant that screams to be planted in an Asian style zen garden. forming a rounded dome like habit up 150 cm after many years Edgeworthia chrysantha ‘Akebana’ or ‘Red Dragon’ if you prefer its western name is one of those holy grail shrubs you hear about but struggle to find. As you might expect such a special plant requires a special spot to grow in, totally hardy here but quite fussy about its requirements. If you grow Daphne’s you will already know what I mean, dappled shade in fertile moisture retentive but not waterlogged soil in a position sheltered from cold drying winds. I’ve seen it planted in a sheltered oriental themed courtyard underplanted with Ophiopogon to stunning effect.
Like its parent the flowers are produced just before or as the new leaves are produced in early spring, further adding to its charm. Unlike its parent though the flowers aren’t quiet as fragrant, they do have perfume but not the heady strong pervading sweetness of Edgeworthia chrysantha which if you are aware have golden yellow flowers.