- Position: partial shade (but not east-facing)
- Soil: moist but well-drained, humus-rich, acid soil (or ericaceous compost for container-grown specimens)
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: January to March
- Hardiness: fully hardy
From late winter to early spring, large white, peony-form flowers with a golden boss of stamens, appear on this handsome, evergreen shrub. The leaves emerge a bright green and gradually darken with age providing a great backdrop to the luminous flowers when they appear. For the rest of the year, they provide essential structure, which becomes invaluable during the winter months when so many other plants have died right back. This reasonably fast-growing plant has an upright habit and can be used as a stand-alone specimen, or incorporated into a mixed or shrub border. It will also make a fine, informal hedge or screen.
Garden care: To prevent damage to the emerging buds and flowers protect from cold, dry winds and early morning sun. Water established plants in dry weather to prevent bud drop. Apply a balanced liquid fertiliser in mid-spring and again in June. Top-dress annually with shredded bark or well-rotted leaf mould. After flowering lightly trim or prune any branches that spoil the appearance of the plant.