Monday, May 4, 2009

Luculia gratissima

Luculia gratissima
Of all the flowering shrubs of May, Luculia (loo-kool-ee-a) is one of the most treasured as it has an intense sweet perfume with few rivals. It is native to the far west of China and the Himalayas and has the reputation of being a bit tricky to grow. It likes a woodland type garden setting with a semi- shade position of rich moist well drained soil . It is best in warm or cool temperate climates and will tolerate cold down to about minus 3C. It can grow quite tall to about 3 metres but is never a dense strong growing shrub .It works well when combined with other shrubs under the shade of trees .The perfume intensifies in the early evening and is quite heady. The white flowering Luculia grandiflora from Bhutan has similar tubular flowers and is worth growing as well.
2017 update: I no longer grow it but admire it whenever I see it.

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