Plant of the Week: ‘Aphrodite’ Sweetshrub

We’ve been fans of ‘Aphrodite’ sweetshrub for a while now. It’s not hard to see why: it’s got appealing glossy foliage and fragrant flowers. And those flowers appear throughout the summer, so you can enjoy both the sight and the perfume for months.

You don’t even need to sit outside to appreciate the magnolia-like flowers: it makes a dandy cut flower, too.

So yes, we’ve long seen the merits of this Calycanthus variety. Now others are taking note of it, too. It was recently designated as one of the 2021 winners of the Theodore Klein Plant Award. How awesome is that?

‘Aphrodite’ flowers look a lot like those of ‘Hartlage Wine’ but are larger, darker, and fragrant. That scent is highly subjective; different people experience it in different ways, but it’s always pleasant.

The plant itself is 5-10′ tall and 6-10′ wide, so it’s a choice for a larger space. Sometimes we need a larger plant to help screen an unpleasant view or just want something taller to give a garden some variety. Steve Foltz of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden demonstrates a good use of the plant in a commercial setting, and it can be just as useful in the home garden.

‘Aphrodite’ is hardy in USDA 5-9 and grows in full sun or part shade.

Speaking of the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden…

Would you like to see that ‘Aphrodite’ shrub in person, along with all of the other cool plants Steve talks about? And maybe some animals, too? I hear that Speedy the sloth is pregnant!

Well, we’ve got the perfect opportunity to see a truly fabulous institution that’s filled with amazing gardens and animals. 

The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is hosting a Proven Winners® Landscape Roadshow on August 25. This is the day before the annual Plant Trials Day, so you can enjoy two full days of horticultural content while getting some [in-person!] CEUs. 

We hope to see you there!

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