Foliage Friday: Edgeworthia

Yesterday, I walked through Washington Park and Portland’s International Rose Garden. While it’s not exactly the best time of year to be visiting a rose garden, the park is still pretty nonetheless. Today’s Foliage Friday comes from a plant in Washington Park. This is a plant that I’m already familiar with, but it’s one of my favorites in the late winter/early spring, and I see it so rarely that when I came across it yesterday, I thought it deserved the honor of a Foliage Friday post.

This is Edgeworthia chyrsantha, also known as the paperbush plant. It starts blooming in late winter (January/February), and its blooms look like yellow pom-poms hanging off the bare branches, which are welcome sight at this time of year. This plant was just beginning to bloom yesterday:

Here are some other images from around the web, to give you a better sense of the plant:

Just beginning to bloom
Image source: here
A close up of the blooms
Image source: here
Image source: here
In full bloom

Edgeworthia is a shrub native to parts of Asia and is hardy in USDA zones 7-10. The bark of Edgeworthia is used to make a Japanese paper called mitsumata, hence the colloquial name “paperbush plant.” Apparently mitsumata paper is very strong and is used to make Japanese paper money.

In the summer, Edgeworthia looks like just another rhododendron, but I think its winter blooms have earned it a place in my future dream garden.

Edgeworthia in summer
Image source: here