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Edgeworthia chrysantha (oriental paperbush)

Oriental paper bush is a beautiful, winter-flowering scented shrub, which has bark valued for making high-quality paper in Japan.
Oriental paper bush white flowers

Edgeworthia chrysantha (Photo: Martyn Rix)

Species information

Scientific name: 

Edgeworthia chrysantha Lindl.

Common name: 

oriental paperbush, mitsumata (Japanese)

Conservation status: 

Not Evaluated according to IUCN Red List criteria.

Habitat: 

Forests, shrubby slopes, dry sandy soil; from coastal areas to stream sides in mountain valleys.

Key Uses: 

Ornamental, high-quality paper, medicinal.

Known hazards: 

None known.

Taxonomy

Subclass: 
Superorder: 
Rosanae
Order: 
Malvales
Family: 
Thymelaeaceae
Genus: Edgeworthia

About this species

This is the commonest of the four species of Edgeworthia and the one most widely cultivated. The scented flowers are borne in tight nodding heads on leafless branches in late winter and early spring. The flowers are usually creamy yellow, but there are also deep yellow and reddish forms.

The stems are remarkably flexible and can be tied in a simple knot without apparent damage. The bark is papery, cinnamon-coloured and used for making high-quality paper - hence the English name, paper bush. The Japanese name, mitsumata, means 'triple-branching' (referring to the unusual branching pattern of this shrub).

Synonym: 

Edgeworthia papyrifera Siebold & Zucc., Edgeworthia tomentosa (Thunb.) Nakai

Genus: 
Edgeworthia

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