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'Aphrodite' Sweetshrub Calycanthus x

Flower Season
  • Spring
  • Summer
Mature Size
10' 10' 3.0m 3.0m
Height: 5' - 10'
Spread: 5' - 10'
Height: 1.5m - 3.0m
Spread: 1.5m - 3.0m
  • Details

    60 - 120 Inches
    60 - 120 Inches
    60 - 120 Inches
    1.5m - 3.0m
    1.5m - 3.0m
    1.5m - 3.0m


    Looking for something a little different? You've found it in 'Aphrodite' calycanthus! Covered in big, glossy leaves, this shrub explodes with enormous cupped flowers that look a bit like a deep red magnolia. They start in early summer and continue through the season - in cooler areas, like our West Michigan trial garden, they bloom all summer long. This is a quite large shrub that needs plenty of space to look its best, but if you have the room for it, there are few better ways to use it!

    'Aphrodite' is a hybrid between our native Calycanthus and the Asian species, xSinocalycanthus. You're probably wondering if it's fragrant, and the answer is - it depends. The scent varies based on the age of the bloom, the time of day, and the flower itself. Some people say they smell like pineapple, others apples, others bubblegum, and some get no scent at all. Even if you never sense a whiff off this plant, its fabulous flowers are more than enough reward.

    Top reasons to grow Aphrodite calycanthus:

    - Big summer flowers look like a deep red magnolia

    - Very long blooming

    - Large, lush shrub provides lots of coverage - ideal for privacy

    Fragrant Flower
    Continuous Bloom or Rebloomer


    Plant Type: 
    Shrub Type: 
    Height Category: 
    Garden Height: 
    60 - 120 Inches 1.5m - 3.0m
    60 - 120 Inches 1.5m - 3.0m
    60 - 120 Inches 1.5m - 3.0m
    Flower Colors: 
    Foliage Colors: 
    Foliage Shade: 
    Container Role: 

    Plant Needs

    Light Requirement: 
    Part Sun to Sun
    Light Requirement: 

    The optimum amount of sun or shade each plant needs to thrive: Full Sun (6+ hours), Part Sun (4-6 hours), Full Shade (up to 4 hours).

    Maintenance Category: 
    Blooms On: 
    New Wood
    Blooms On: 
    Old Wood
    Bloom Time: 
    Mid Summer
    Bloom Time: 
    Late Summer
    Bloom Time: 
    Early Fall
    Hardiness Zones: 
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
    Water Category: 
    Maintenance Notes: 

    Adaptable to most moist well drained soils.  Prune to shape after flowering.

    'Aphrodite' Calycanthus x USPP 24,014
  • 15 Reviews

    Browse reviews from people who have grown this plant.
    • Nice shrub, but I purchased specifically for the scent. Super disappointed that this variety can be scentless. I purchased because it was a Proven Winner brand,

      , North Carolina
      , United States
      , 4 weeks ago
    • We've had this most gorgeous plant for several years. She blooms throughout the warm months like a trooper with the most beautiful flowers one could ask for. My plant gets both the morning and afternoon sun every day. I am very happy with this Aphrodite and so glad I chose to purchase it!

      Marsha Eichner
      , Pennsylvania
      , United States
      , 30 weeks ago
    • Very disappointed in this plant. This is the third summer I've had it and it has never bloomed. It is in mostly sun in zone 8b. The other full sun plants in the same bed are doing great. I'll likely dig it up and get rid 9f it. It's not a very attractive shrub.

      , Florida
      , United States
      , 1 year ago
    • Don’t sleep on this! I planted one 2or 3 seasons ago and it went from maybe an 18-24 inch plant to 6ft+ at its highest point. It’s pretty and blooms all late May to fall (zone 6). It’s nice and full without any pruning. My flowers do not have a smell though. As someone else said I lost a branch or two over the last winter but you can’t even tell. It took off so well I bought another one. It’s doing just as well. While it stands to get very big ( which is what I want) it appears that it can just easily be snipped to the desired height/width.

      , New Jersey
      , United States
      , 2 years ago
    • I’ve grown this plant near East Longmeadow for 5 years, and in Westfield Massachusetts for 3 years. These are very cold hardy plants, and they flower for me from late May until early-mid October. When you crush the leaves you get a scent of vanilla, sugar, & a sweet herbal scent as well. They Really seem to thrive in moist but well draining soil. They’re great to Xerscape with because they can provide shade to surrounding areas. The one at my relatives in E. Longmeadow has grown about 9’ wide and about 12’ tall. They can & will grow this tall as our 3 year old one has easily surpassed 9’ this year. Love this shrub & everything about it! After 5 years, it finally produced seeds but very few in nature, very long process to grow from seed but worth trying! The Only downfall may be the size, can get big! If you have the space then all for it! And, the second downfall is, sometimes after some brutal winter/early spring wind/snow storms, they might lose a branch or two. If they lose a branch, I use “Neem oil” to spray where it lost the branch, and then either “tree prune sealer” or even “wilt Pruf” to seal the cut after applying the organic fungicide. This helps protect the plant.

      Nicholas F.
      , Massachusetts
      , United States
      , 3 years ago
    • This shrub is an absolute pleasure! It is in heavy bloom right now here in south Louisiana, Zone 8b. The heat and humidity of our summers are tough on plants, but this shrub quickly grew to over 6 ft tall within 3;years and has bloomed since its 2nd year in the landscape. The blooms look like mini magenta magnolia blooms. Ours is not scented, but it has been such an excellent performer that it doesn’t matter. I definitely recommend this plant!

      , Louisiana
      , United States
      , 4 years ago
    • This plant caught my attention during a visit to the local arboretum. The flowers were very eye catching in both color and size. I purchased one as soon as I could. I was impressed with how fast it grew, and it bloomed the second year. It is planted in what I would consider less than ideal soil. The soil is heavy and compacted, but the 'Aphrodite' calycanthus seems to be doing just fine. It continues to grow and bloom. The flowers are very showy with sort of a pineapple scent. Very pleased that it is deer resistant too!

      , 4 years ago
    • wonderful plant for an informal garden. Repeat blooming, fragrant and beautiful dark red flowers. Only one drawback, in order to prune it you will have to sacrifice some flower buds since it blooms repeatedly. My plant grows in full sun in a moderately wet area in zone 7. It is so happy, but I have to move it to build a deck. I think it will survive transplant because it is a plant native to my general area (Virginia/Maryland) and they generally are very tough plants.I read that this shrub can be propagated by division; I don't know if that was referring to the straight species. This is a cultivar and may not follow the "rules". If I had the space I would add more.

      mary d pierce
      , Virginia
      , United States
      , 6 years ago
    • I admit, the larger than usual blooms on this Calycanthus tempted me, and I bought a large plant. The staff at the nursery said that none could smell it. I had no trouble with this, but found that its fragrance is very light, unlike other Calycanthus that I have known. Before planting in-ground, I'll move it about to see if the fragrance is sunlight/temperature dependent. If fragrance isn't of big importance to you, by all means try Aphrodite. It is a truly beautiful shrub and its blossoms are stunning.

      Su Buchignani
      , California
      , United States
      , 10 years ago
    • Billy Bob
      , 10 years ago
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