Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Edgeworthia chrysantha is flowering cheerfully despite having had a 5 ton Cedar fall on it (in China Valley)

To be totally honest the tree fell "around " the Edgeworthia, that is to say an outline of the area where the tree had fallen would have circumscribed the Edgeworthia. Clearly there was minimal contact between the massive Cedar and the delicate Paperbush. Pretty much everything else within the "crash perimeter" was totaled. It may be my imagination but it seems like the flowers have better color this year: deeper and richer. It could be last year's excellent growing season, recent weather, or even the excellent care it receives here at the USNA, but I like to think that, nearly being crushed was a life altering experience that the Edgeworthia has responded to by stepping up it's game.

I did a little research in an attempt to get a ballpark figure for the weight of the Cedar. I came upon an interesting paper on the size and weight of Loblolly Pines in Northern Louisiana. It was a USDA paper! I've gotta think Cedars weigh, dbh to dbh, at least as much as Loblollies. A 22" dbh Pine, in their study, weighed 5,000+ pounds so our 28" Cedar would very likely have weighed double that

While I have an undeniable fondness for plants that flower from late fall to early spring, and for fragrance, by any measure this plant is a winner. Related to the genus Daphne it has a fragrance worthy of that association. And it grows and flowers happily in fairly heavy deciduous shade.Good plant.

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