Native Region: Eastern North America.
Zone Range: 4-9
Preferred Climate: Sunny sheltered sites; well draining evenly moist good soil.
Harvest Date: Wednesday 04 January, 2012
Seed count: 15-20
An unusual, attractive, small scented shrub to 2 meters tall and 2 meters wide. Broad mid green leaves have glossy upperside and downy underside. Unique flowers start off as dark marron/brown buds then open to 5 cm wine red flowers look somewhere between a magnolia and lotus blossom but heavily petaled. Flowers have a wild strawberry fragrance. Interesting fruits resemble figs. Bruised leaves have a spicy scent. Nice yellow autumn colour. Deer proof. No diseases noted.
Great for cool climates and essentially needs the same growing conditions as Japanese Maples (Acer palmatum), so if you can grow one you can grow the other. Fig shaped fruit are full of large seeds.
Seeds deveop a hard coat if overly dry. If so give a hot water treatment and soak 12-24 hours. Sow, barely covering seed, and tamp soil. Give 30 days cold moist stratification. Plastic cover greatly improves success. Move to warm site 15-22C. Days to germinate: 14-35. Easy way: soak in 'Skookum Grow' for 48 hours, then sow in a resealable baggie and provide warmth (20C) and some light. It starts germinating in 3-7 days. Transplant when a brownish hue on the seed root develops. Huge root system so use the appropriate sized container. Keep warm, moist (not wet) and give light. Seedling leaves look like green butterflies.