24 July 2019
Calycanthus ×raulstonii 'Aphrodite'
Shrub with exotic wine red flowers and nice, seasonal foliage. It grows up to 2-2.5 m in height. It forms quite large, elliptic, light-green leaves, slightly shiny on the surface, turning yellow in autumn. Flower buds appear individually at the tops of short shoots growing on last year's branches. The flowers are big, 8-9 cm in diameter when fully open. They are comprised of a dozen or so veined, dark red petals surrounding yellow stamens. The inner petals are shorter and shell-like in the center of the flower. Flowers appear from the end of May to the turn of July and August, give off a delicate aroma of apples, and their color contrasts intensely with the juicy green color of the leaves.
The bush is healthy and easy to grow, has no pests or diseases, highly tolerant of soil type and location. Prefers warm locations, secluded, sheltered from the wind. In Western Poland, the plant is frost resistant, in the east of the country, young plants require winter coating (zone 6b).
The plant is recommended for growing in home gardens and in parks, in compositions with other shrubs and perennials.
Cultivar bred by Thomas Ranney at North Carolina State University, introduced to the US market in 2014.