Fragrant Fountain Japanese Snowbell
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Fragrant Fountain Japanese Snowbell is a lovely little flowering tree that will bring a romantic look to your landscape with its gracefully weeping habit and its profusion of starry, bell-shaped blossoms. Fragrant Fountain’s flowers come in May and early June, their sweet fragrance mixing with the intoxicating scents of Sweetbay Magnolias, Roses, Irises, Peonies, and other beloved blossoms that define this lush and floriferous season that balances on the cusp of spring and summer. This is the time of year when you’ll want to begin to make a habit of taking some time to sit on the patio and drink in the beauty of the garden, and Fragrant Fountain Snowbell makes a delightful addition to the scene.
The Japanese Snowbell Tree was introduced to Western gardens in 1862, though it has never become widely popular. Why it hasn’t caught on is a mystery, because it’s beautiful in flower and leaf (the foliage turns a nice clear yellow in fall, too), it stays relatively small, and it’s not difficult at all to grow. Maybe Fragrant Fountain Japanese Snowbell will change that. This selection was a chance seedling that appeared at the nursery of Crispin Silva in Molalla, Oregon in 1996. The new tree stood out for its strongly weeping habit, its fast growth rate, and the richness of its floral perfume.
Fragrant Fountain was raised from the seed of a pink-flowering Japanese Snowbell Tree (though Fragrant Fountain has white blooms). The baby-daddy was likely ‘Carillon’, an older pendulous form which becomes a broad-spreading weeper that can ultimately take up quite a bit of room in the garden. With its more compact shape, Fragrant Fountain is better suited for today’s smaller landscapes than its father.
How to Grow
Fragrant Fountain Japanese Snowbell is a fast-growing tree that doesn’t get very big—and there are precious few of those kinds of trees! This easygoing tree grows in any kind of well-drained soil, though it may have a slight preference for acid soils. It may be grown in full sun, but it also thrives in the light shade of a woodland garden, and it appreciates protection from the harsh afternoon sun in hot climates. Although Fragrant Fountain rarely needs pruning, you can trim it if you like immediately after its flowers fade. Diseases and insects pests are totally uninterested in this sturdy little tree.
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