An Elegance of Edgeworthia - a plant for all seasons

 — Edgeworthia is so special that she gets her own page of haiku! Her lush green summer habits, the September buds that push off the leaves, the host of silver balls just around Christmas, and finally the glorious honey-scented flowers that open in late winter – all these make her a centerpiece of any garden.  The Chinese Paper Bush is truly a plant for all seasons!

Contemporary poet and gardener Juma has two large Edgeworthia bushes in her garden, which attract visitors all times of year. She wrote all the haiku on this page as a celebration of this truly memorable plant!

The Edgeworthia bloom is an astonishing addition to a late winter garden

 

The world rushes past-
Edgeworthia takes her time.
We are honored guests.

All summer Edworthia is thick with lush green leaves.  Sometime in late August or early September tiny buds begin to appear, which gradually push off all the leaves.  These buds grow with an almost imperceptible slowness, until at last in late January or early February, they open into fragrant golden blooms. Edgeworthia truly “takes her time”, and reminds us to do the same.

 

Cousin to the Daphne, Edgeworthia is a deciduous perennial shrub that turns any winter garden into a memorable experience!

Click here for more technical information:

Dave’s Garden Edgeworthia Page

Paper bush moment.
How glorious to be so
Alive in winter!

If you’re visiting a friend or neighbor who grows Edgeworthia, be sure and allow an extra half hour or so to get to know this special bush. You’ll enter your friend’s home a changed person!

Edgeworthia in July has succulent, wide leaves and a lovely mounded shape. Even without blooms, it's a show stopper!

Bare, ornamented
branches of Edgeworthia.
The six-year old gasps.

By Christmas or New Years, each branch is studded with silver-white buds which hang like tiny bells.
Edgeworthia papyrifera

Year-round interest, beautiful winter color,  heavenly fragrance – no wonder that everyone who sees Edgeworthia falls in love with her!

Being in love means
Whispering all your secret names,
My Mitsumata.

Edgeworthia bark has been used in Asia to make paper for more than a thousand years.  In fact, the first record of this paper making was from 614 A.D!  This practice of making paper from its inner bark gave Edgeworthia its nicknames of Chinese Paper Bush and Oriental Paper Bush. In Japan, the Paper Bush is called “mitsumata”.

Japanese paper made from mitsumata is thought to be the “feminine” of the three traditional papermaking fibres: soft to the touch, malleable, and dense (it is less translucent than kozo or gampi), with a subtle elegant gloss and a natural creamy color.

Learn more about the three traditional papermaking fibres here: Japanese Paper Fibres

 

Mitsumata (Edgeworthia) Handmade Paper
Handmade Mitsumata paper

In Japan, mitsumata paper is favored for brush calligraphy, backing gold leaf, and until recently for making paper currency.  It is also used for art creations of many kinds.

Edgeworthia, Chinese Paper Bush, Oriental Paper Bush, Mitsumata … regardless of the preferred name, the plant is a great favorite of gardeners, poets and everyone who loves beauty.

Winter love letter
Whiff of remembered fragrance
Open before Spring

Closeup of two blooms shows the tiny flowerlets that make up each bloom

 

Honey explosion!
Edgeworthia is in bloom –
Invite the neighbors!

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