Friday, April 8th, 2011...5:20 am

Winter Flowering Plants – Part III

Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Primavera’ by Tie Guy II

In addition to winter-flowering flowers (see here and here), there are also winter flowering shrubs. Many of these shrubs are hardy in US hardiness zones 5 and warmer.

One of the earliest blooming shrubs is the witch hazel. Witch Hazel, Hamamelis intermedia “Pallida” is considered one of the best to open in mid to late winter.  See here.  Friends eagerly went to view the one that opened early in a local garden. Many of the Hamamelis have the added bonus of fragrance. Plus the witch hazel has fall interest with colored foliage.

Jasminum nudiflorum (IV) by Bambo.

A favorite early to late winter blooming shrub is Winter or Hardy Jasmine, Jasminum nudiflorum. I first saw this lovely shrub in Central Park in Manhattan, New York. When I first saw it, I thought it was a forsythia; but it blooms a month earlier than most forsythias. It is supposed to be reliable and undemanding but this year my little Winter Jasmine did not bless me with blooms. It can be raised as a ground cover or climbing plant. I am hoping mine will grow around a dying kwanson cherry tree where as Grounds for Sculpture has it growing on the roof of its warming hut.

One of the earliest and most reliable winter blooming forsythias is Forsythia ovata, Korean forsythia.  See here.

Pieris Japonica : Lily of the Valley by Sandy Austin

One of TheGardenLady’s favorite late winter/early spring flowering shrubs is Pieris japonica. See here.  I recommend this shrub very highly. I love the clusters of what looks like white Lily of the Valley flowers covering the shrub- though there are also pink flowering varieties. And there are other Pieris that have new growth that is red or orange red that are almost more impressive than the flowers. This shrub is evergreen which to me is an added bonus.

This is just a partial list of winter flowering shrubs. Some others are:

Cornus mas or Cornelian cherry

Stachyurus praecox is one of the most underused shrubs in the US and seems more popular and easier to find in the UK.  See here. Try to find this charming, unusual shrub if you live in US hardiness zones 6-9

Viburnum x bodnantense “Dawn” is pretty and fragrant pink or white flowers.  See here.

Daphne mezereum or February Daphne. This pink or lilac flowering shrub is also fragrant and may be hardy to zone 4.  See here.

Related Content:

1 Comment

  • Lovely images. Pieris does not grow well in our climate and soil conditions. The nurseries sell them , but they often do not last.

Leave a Reply