USDA Hardiness: Zones 7-9
Height: To 7’
Growing Conditions: Light to moderate shade; deep, moist, high organic matter soils
Though this has been a particularly mild winter in Washington DC, I still find myself watching intently for signs of spring. This week, the Paperbush outside my front door has rewarded me by unfurling its unusual spherical yellow flowers. The dangling blossoms hang like large pendants from the bare stems. Welcome spring!
Paperbush’s silvery leaves emerge after it is done blooming and are reminiscent of Frangipanis. DC is near the northern edge of Paperbush’s hardiness range, and through the spring, summer, and fall it looks like its tropical cousins. Its graceful, vaselike form, smooth reddish bark, and prominent buds that form in late summer keep gardeners enticed through the winter. At OvS, we use it as a stand-alone specimen shrub in spots where it will be sure to be appreciated in late winter (near a front door or sunny terrace, or prominently visible outside an important window). Its sweet fragrance fills the air and gives all who pass by a breath of spring.