Beautiful aromatic native shrub with unique 1" dark burgundy-maroon flowers and shiny polished leaves. Blooms while breaking dormancy late April-early May and flowers sporadically through summer. Upright flowers resemble small magnolias with petals spiraling into similar-looking sepals, a characteristic of many primitive plants.
Leaf, bark and flowers all highly fragrant of an aroma resembling spiced apples. Bark is edible, tastes very similar to cinnamon bark, and can be used the same way to spice puddings, toast and desserts. In warmer regions fruit will develop but is poisonous and should be avoided.
Michael Dirr considers this plant one of the great treasures of eastern North America, especially when allowed to grow into a large open specimen.
Flowers on new wood so best pruned in summer. Partial sun and moist rich soil. Native to stream edges and woodlands of southeastern U.S. Our trials in central Maine are so far proving it to be hardy in Zone 4. Z4/5. (1-3' bare-root plants)
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