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Winter Flowers!
Pat Roome, Master Gardener
February 2020

Verbanum - Dawn

There are many flowering shrubs in full bloom right now, and in addition, these flowers are fragrant. Bees are not around to pollinate flowers as they do in summer. Shrubs that flower in cold wet conditions need to attract other pollinating insects to their flowers. Nature insists that plants reproduce themselves and pollination from male to female is essential for seeds to be viable. Fragrance is a powerful attractant for moths and other flying insects to visit these flowers. The insects need food in the form of nectar from these flowers and in the process of taking the nectar they will mix the male and  and female pollens to assure the resulting seeds are viable.

Here are some shrubs that are blooming in our cold wet winter climate:

  • Viburnum ‘Dawn’ has been showing its profuse pink flowers for a couple of months now and will continue to bloom for a month or two more even if it snows.
  • Hamamelis (witch hazel) has many cultivars that bloom in the Fall and early Winter. Most of them are heavily scented and smell of tangerines.
  • Sarcococca varieties are so fragrant you probably should plant them away from a path and limit the number of plants since the scent can be overpowering.
  • Daphne Odora is famous for its scented flowers. This 3’ shrub is best appreciated when you can get up close to the purple flowers.
  • Corylopsis pauciflora (winter hazel), below, is a tidy shrub which puts out its scented pale yellow flowers in February.

East Side Neighbors Network | Winter Flowers! | Corylopsis pauciflora (winter hazel)

Corylopsis Pauciflora (Winter Hazel)

Plant the earliest flowering daffodils and snowdrops in your yard under these shrubs and it will be a place that lights up your yard.

Go to your local nursery to see and smell these early flowers which promise that spring is not far away.

Viburnum DawnViburnum ("Dawn") has been showing its profuse pink flowers for a couple of months now and will continue to bloom for a month or two more even if it snows.

Hamamelis (Witch Hazel)Hamamelis (witch hazel) bloom in the Fall and early Winter. Most of them are heavily scented and smell of tangerines.

SarcococcaSarcococca varieties are so fragrant, the scent can be overpowering. Plant them away from a path and limit the number of plants.

Daphne odddoraDaphne odora is famous for its scented flowers. Best appreciated when you can get up close to the purple flowers.

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