Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ is also known as Sweetshrub ‘Aphrodite’. It is part of the Calycanthaceae family of plants. Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ is a deciduous shrub. It is native to North America. It is multi-stemmed. It grows to about 3m or 10ft.
Mark Catesby (1683-1749) discovered it. He was an English naturalist who studied flora in North America. Later English botanist, Peter Collinson (1694-1768) described it to Carl Linnaeus, the Swedish botanist.
The foliage is glossy green. It is oblong. The leaves turn yellow in autumn. Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ flowers are burgundy or deep red. They are about 10cm or 4in in diameter. It flowers during late spring and summer.
The flowers resemble Magnolia flowers, as it is a distant cousin. Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ is a fragrant plant. Both the leaves as well as the flowers have a sweet and spicy fragrance. The bark is also fragrant. It has a strong camphor scent when scratched.
How to grow Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’:
Grow Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ in the sun or partial shade. Plant using moderately fertile and moist but well-drained soil. It is best to shelter it from the cold and winds.
Propagate Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ by cuttings. Try softwood cuttings in spring and summer. Calycanthus ‘Aphrodite’ is easy to maintain. It is disease-free and trouble-free.
Native Americans used Calycanthus in traditional medicine as well as basket weaving and making arrows. Calycanthus oil is distilled from the flowers and it is used in perfumes.