Seven Shrubs That Bloom In February*


Daphne odora ‘Aureomarginata’ at Biltmore Estates, Asheville, NC

Hamamelis x ‘Primavera’ in February 2017

If you garden in zones 6 to 8,  there are a number of shrubs that bloom in the wintry month of February. Usually, a warm period lasting a few days to a week may spur flower buds to open. Nightly lows may cause some flower injury, but additional flowers soon follow. All seven listed below are long-lived and are highly dependable.

Carolina Jessamine (Gelsemium sempervirens) – Sweetly scented, golden yellow flowers cover the glossy, fine textured foliage from February to April. Moderately deer resistant (zones 6-9)

Chinese Witchhazel (Hamamelis x intermedia) represent crossing two Asian witchhazels (H. japonica x H. mollis). Shrubs grow 6-12 feet tall and wide and may sucker freely at the base. Recommended cultivars are ‘Diane’, ‘Jelena’, ‘Orange Beauty’, ‘Primavera’ and ‘Westerstede’. Moderately deer resistant (zones 5-9)

Chinese Paper bush (Edgeworthia chrysantha)  is a deciduous suckering shrub that typically grows to 4-6 feet tall and as wide. Short-petioled, lanceolate-oblong, dark green 3-5 inch long leaves are attractive in the woodland garden (zones 6-9).

Winter Honeysuckle (Lonicera fragrantissima) –small fragrant white flowers appear in midwinter on this 10-12 foot tall vigorous shrub. Note: rated “invasive Florida and Texas where winter temperatures are mild; not so much in zone 7 and colder areas further north (zones 4-8).

Winter Daphne (Daphne odora) 3-4 feet tall evergreen, densely branched shrub with rose-purple or white, fragrant flowers in mid- to late winter (zones 7-9). Fragrant 2 inch long tubular flowers are a half-inch across and are usually white but may include pink or lavender hues; flowers bloom in winter and early spring.

Fragrant Wintersweet (Chimonanthus praecox) produces highly fragrant yellow/slight red blotched flowers in late January is at home in a rich, acidic, moist, well-drained soils in part to full shade. 12 feet by 10 feet deciduous shrub; established shrub is moderately drought tolerant (zones 6 to 9).

Sweetbox (Sarcococca hookeriana ‘Humilis’) is a suckering 4-6-foot evergreen shrub with fragrant white flowers set against glossy boxwood-like foliage. It spreads very slowly by stolons in a shady landscape area (zones 6 to 9).

* Blooms are visited by early pollinating native bees and butterflies. Hungry bees will be pleased to find nectar in late days of winter.

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