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Newsletter Posts

My Favorite Plant

Mary Bruce Rae-Grant

One of my favorite spring shrubs is Calycanthus Venus. It is the white flowered version of Calycanthus Aphrodite. If you plant either one you can be sure that “love will be in the air.” I love that this shrub is deer resistant. For the eight years that I have grown this shrub, the deer have yet to touch it. I love that it has gorgeous white blooms with purple throats which look similar to a gardenia blossom. I love its fragrance which has an ethereal mix of strawberry and vanilla. And, I love that it has a long bloom time from mid-May until mid-July.

Calycanthus Venus, also known as Carolina Sweetshrub or Allspice grows in zones 5-9. It has withstood our winter polar vortices as well as some drought conditions in summer. I started mine from a small quart-sized pot, and it is now 4 feet tall.  It receives an hour of morning sun and thrives in dappled shade for the rest of the day. There is so much to love about this shrub. I hope it will become one of your favorite things.