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Products > Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth'
Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth' - Elizabeth Bush Anemone
Image of Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth'
[2nd Image]
Habit and Cultural Information
Category: Shrub
Family: Hydrangeaceae (Mock-oranges)
Origin: California (U.S.A.)
Evergreen: Yes
Flower Color: White
Bloomtime: Spring/Summer
Height: 4-6 feet
Width: 3-5 feet
Exposure: Sun or Shade
Summer Dry: Yes
Irrigation (H2O Info): Low Water Needs
Winter Hardiness: 15-20 F
Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth' (Elizabeth Bush Anemone) - An attractive much branched evergreen shrub that grows to 4 to 6 feet tall by 3 to 4 feet wide with vertically inclined gray stems that peal back annually to reveal new yellowish-tan bark. The 4 to 5 inch long narrow lanceolate leaves are dark glossy green above with dense white hairs on the surface below and have slightly revolute leaf margins. In late spring to early summer at the branch tips appear the many flowered clusters of fragrant 2 inch wide white flowers with bright yellow stamens; occasionally some flowers might be seen extending nearly into fall. Plant in sun or light shade (requires shade in inland gardens) in a well-drained soil. It is drought tolerant once established but looks its best in an acidic organic amended soil with occasional to regular irrigation. Hardy to about 20 degrees F. Bush Anemone is reported to be oak root fungus resistant, but susceptible to aphids, particularly if plants are drought stressed, and this can disfigure the new growth of the plant. The bitter foliage is not attractive to deer so only gets browsed when they are desperate. The selection 'Elizabeth' is a cultivar that was selected because of its masses of smaller white flowers and more compact growth habit. It was discovered by legendary bay area plantsman Wayne Roderick in 1971, who noted that he and a group of friends spent several days surveying all Carpenteria plants that they could get to and selected this one because it was "so different that it stood out far beyond the rest". He noted that the flowers were smaller than typical but that it had erect compact clusters holding over 20 flowers at the tips of each stem. Once brought into cultivation he further noted that the plant was more compact than the species and adapted itself well into cultivation. It was named for botanist Elizabeth McClintock (19122004), longtime curator in the Department of Botany at the California Academy of Sciences. For more information about the species, please see our listing for Carpenteria californica. Carpenteria was long placed in the family Saxifragaceae but the current treatment is to include it with the mock oranges in the Philadelpheae tribe of the Hydrangeaceae.  This information is based on research conducted about this plant in our nursery library and from reliable online sources. We also take into consideration observations of it in our nursery of crops, as well as of plants growing in the nursery's garden and those in other gardens we have visited. We will incorporate comments received from others and welcome getting feedback from anyone who may have additional information, particularly if it includes cultural information that would aid others in growing Carpenteria californica 'Elizabeth'.