Inside The New York Botanical Garden

Platycrater arguta

A Rare Find in Bloom

Posted in Horticulture on July 16 2014, by Deanna Curtis

Deanna F. Curtis is Curator of Woody Plants at The New York Botanical Garden where she develops, documents, and helps manage the historic hardy tree and shrub collections.

Platycrater arguta
Platycrater arguta

The uncommonly cultivated cobweb flower (Platycrater arguta) is one of many rare Asian woodland species grown in the Azalea Garden. A hydrangea relative, this species is native to southern Japan, as well as a small range in eastern China, where it is considered threatened.

This deciduous shrub reaches about 3-4’ feet high and wide and is sure to stump many a horticulturalist with its lovely, unique blooms. Four-petaled white flowers form a balloon shape before opening to display abundant, large yellow stamens. Floral bracts persist into fall, adding texture while the leaves fade to yellow.

If you can find this plant at a nursery, it might be a perfect addition for a partial shaded, well-drained spot in your garden. At the center of the Azalea Garden you’ll find this lovely, well-behaved species in bloom right near the overlook.