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Fragrant Wintersweet*

Chimonanthus praecox

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Fragrant Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) at Alsip Home and Nursery

Fragrant Wintersweet flowers

Fragrant Wintersweet flowers

(Photo courtesy of NetPS Plant Finder)

* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Height:  8 feet

Spread:  6 feet

Sunlight:  full sun  partial shade 

Hardiness Zone:  6


A native garden shrub valued primarily for its late winter bloom of highly fragrant soft yellow flowers along the bare branches when virtually nothing else is blooming in the landscape; needs an occasional rejuvenation pruning to keep it looking neat

Ornamental Features

Fragrant Wintersweet features dainty fragrant lemon yellow cup-shaped flowers with purple eyes along the branches in late winter before the leaves. It has forest green foliage throughout the season. The glossy pointy leaves turn buttery yellow in fall. The fruit is not ornamentally significant.

Landscape Attributes

Fragrant Wintersweet is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a shapely form and gracefully arching branches. Its relatively coarse texture can be used to stand it apart from other landscape plants with finer foliage.

This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and is best pruned in late winter once the threat of extreme cold has passed. It has no significant negative characteristics.

Fragrant Wintersweet is recommended for the following landscape applications;

  • Accent
  • Mass Planting
  • Hedges/Screening
  • General Garden Use

Planting & Growing

Fragrant Wintersweet will grow to be about 8 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 6 feet. It tends to be a little leggy, with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.

This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil type or pH. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. This species is native to parts of North America.


* This is a "special order" plant - contact store for details

Hardiness Zone Plant Height Minimum Sunlight
Accent  Massing  Screening  Garden 
Flowers  Plant Form  Winter Value 
Ornamental Features