Native to China, this daphne relative is becoming a winter-blooming favorite. Grows 612 feet tall and wide, with pliable stems produced freely from the base; dark blue-green, 3- to 4 inches-long leaves are clustered at branch tips. Flower buds covered with silky white hairs emerge in late summer; they resemble white blossoms, so after leaves drop in fall, the plant looks like it's already in bloom. Clusters of fragrant, tubular flowers that are white on the outside and yellow inside finally open in late winter. Selections include 'Akebono' ('Red Dragon'), red-orange blooms, not as vigorous as yellow forms, 5 feet tall and wide in 10 years; 'Gold Rush', yellow blooms, 6 feet tall and wide; 'Hawkridge Selection', yellow flowers, 4 feet tall and wide, good for small gardens; 'Nanjing Gold', yellow flowers, 8-inch leaves, 8 feet tall and wide; and 'Snow Cream', yellow flowers, very vigorous, 12 feet tall and wide.
Paper bush is a vigorous pest-free shrub that prefers light shade and moist, fertile, well-drained soil containing plenty of organic matter. Water during summer droughts. Little pruning required. Easy to root from cuttings and to force cut branches into early bloom indoors. Not browsed by deer.