Beautybush is related to honeysuckle (Caprifoliaceae family), but is the only species in the Kolkwitzia genus, which incidentally is named for a 19th century German botanist, Richard Kolkwitz. The plant received the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Merit in 1923 and immediately became popular in gardens at home as well as abroad. Your grandmother probably had one.
Niche Gardens (where I bought mine as a tiny stick in a pot one March) describes beautybush as a classic passalong plant. I haven't tried to propagate it yet, but I have little doubt one could put a cutting in the ground and it would root. It just looks easy, and I've had good luck rooting shrubs that way.
|a fuzzy phone zoom pic of the |
first swallowtail of the season
Shortly after making that decision, a swallowtail flitted over and landed on a flowering branch. And then I noticed something else: perfume. Usually the temperatures are 10–15 degrees warmer here when beautybush blooms. Heat evaporates any sweet smell, leaving only the nose-tickly scent of pollen. But in the cool humidity of this spring, there is a very sweet and pleasant French perfume scent, not unlike Clethra.
I'm glad we left it alone for another year.