Drimys winteri

21 Mar

Drimys winteri (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Drimys winteri (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun to light shade

Flowering period: Late spring to summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 10m

Eventual Spread: 8m

Hardiness: 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b

Family: Winteraceae

Drimys winteri is an evergreen shrub or small tree with a bushy habit. Its dark green leathery leaves are lanceolate with entire margins, up to 20cm long and 5cm broad. Its leaves have an aromatic pepper like fragrance when crushed. Its bark is light brown in colour. Its white/ cream fragrant flowers are up to 4cm across and appear as terminal clusters. Its blue fruit is a berry.

Drimys winteri Flowers (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Drimys winteri Flowers (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Drimys winteri, commonly known as Winter Cinnamon, Winter’s Bark or Canelo, is native to South America, including Chile and Argentina. In its native habitat it grows in temperate rain forests.

The etymological root of the binomial name Drimys is derived from the Greek drimy meaning ‘acrid’ or ‘sharp’, in reference to the bark’s taste. Winteri is named after an English navigator John Winter who successfully rounded Cape Horn with Francis Drake (c. 1540 -1596).

The landscape architect may find Drimys winteri useful as an evergreen, large fragrant shrub/ small tree. It dislikes cold drying winds.

Ecologically, Drimys winteri flowers are attractive to pollinating insects.

Drimys winteri Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

Drimys winteri Leaf (16/03/2014, Kew Gardens, London)

The Royal Horticultural Society has given Drimys winteri their prestigious Award of Garden Merit in 2002.

Drimys winteri prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil.

Drimys winteri requires little maintenance. Any necessary pruning should be carried out in mid spring after the last frost.

Davis Landscape Architecture

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