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Platycrater - Care Guide

Paltycrater arguta - Care Guide

Platycrater arguta is a rare plant and relatively new to cultivation in the UK having only fairly recently been collected in the wild in japan. It is however also native to China. This is a smallish deciduous shrub with a bushy habit which is a hydrangea relative.

It has narrow willow-like green leaves with small teeth on the margins. Male and female flowers appear on the same bush in July or August. These are white with four petals and prominent yellow stamens that are often larger than the petals. The infertile male flowers lack the stamens.

They grow in the wild in semi-shade and prefer the same sort of soil conditions and positioning as white flowered hydrangeas which always flower best in shade. It is difficult to say, as yet, quite how hardy this plant will prove to be in the UK. It roots easily enough from early summer new growth cuttings, as we have found in the nursery, so it may be best to keep the stock plant in the greenhouse and experiment with younger plants outside. We think it will be perfectly hardy in Cornwall but are unsure beyond that.

Our stock plant looks like it will grow to only 2-3ft with a similar spread but it is said to achieve 5ft in height in the wild.

Definitely a plant for the connoisseur or collector to try out.


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