Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Agarista populifolia, like many other spectacularly fragrant plants the flowers aren't, spectacular that is

In the heart of Fern Valley, the area between the road and the stream, that currently houses the shady cultivar collection, there are a number of large ungainly evergreen shrubs. This plant used to be Leucothoe populifolia, but I guess the taxonomists decided that it just didn't belong anymore. Probably lacked that powerful tendency to be raveged by leafspot that is such a defining charcteristic of the genus Leucothoe.

Obviously Ericaceous, the small white flowers give out a powerful aroma of....something. Something sweetish. I think of the fragrance as being related to honey, but I describe Fothergilla the same way and don't see/smell much in common. It eventually makes a ~12 x 15' evergreen shrub with a loosely informal appearance.....180 degrees from, say, an English Boxwood. The slight elevation in average temperatures associated with Global Warming/Zone Creep/... seems to have made available to us, here in the Washington DC area, a nice southeastern native shrub.

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