Chimonanthus yunnanensis

Scientific name: Chimonanthus yunnanensis

Author: W. W. Smith

Common name: Wintersweet

Family: Calycanthaceae


Chimonanthus yunnanensis   


Head for the Residence Garden via the ramp from the Visitor Centre viewing deck, continue past the Residence and take the path down toward the weather station.

From a family of ancient lineage with beetle pollination come three genera of shrubs or small trees with aromatic bark and often with fragrant flowers. The most commonly cultivated member of the genus Chimonanthus is C. praecox, which can be glimpsed on the up-hill side of the path as you pass from the Visitor Centre to the Residence. Chimonanthus yunnanensis, also comes from China and the two differ only slightly in leaf shape and flower colour. A cool climate is a must for good flowering and a deep, well-drained soil with as much sun and wind shelter as possible will give good results. From the Greek cheimon, winter, and anthos, flower we understand the winter flowering nature of these fragrant delights.

Other winter treats in the Residence Garden are the daphne, just coming into flower, the violets and the early narcissus. And, if you really want to indulge in a sweet winter check out the Osmanthus delavayi above the stone seat on the grassed walk below the weather station and leading to the Northern Pavilion.