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Chimonanthus can be evergreen or deciduous shrubs with simple leaves and highly fragrant, bowl-shaped, many-petalled flow.
C. praecox is a deciduous shrub with a bushy, much-branched habit, growing to 2.5m or higher against a wall. Leaves are lance-shaped, 5-12cm long, shining dark green. Flowers solitary or in small groups, almost stemless, borne in winter at the joints of the previous summer's shoots. Highly fragrant, the outer tepals almost transparent, yellowish-green, inner tepals shorter, dark reddish purple.
Plant in well-drained soil in a sheltered position in full sun.