Snow on flowers of Viburnum bodnantense Dawn

Winter Scent: Viburnum Bodnantense ‘Dawn’

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Last week I photographed a winter-flowering clematis growing up a shrub that flowers at the same time. This week I thought I’d show you what the flowers of that shrub (Viburnum bodnantense ‘Dawn’) look like.

As you can see, the flowers are small and not exactly spectacular. They do however, look very pretty on the bare branches of the shrub and provide some good colour on a winter’s day. After frost or snow some of the older flowers will be browned and dying, but the newly-opened flowers and buds keep going and can last over a long period.

One of the main reasons I planted this viburnum wasn’t for the flowers, but for the scent. I’d come across it in a park in winter and had been entranced by its sweet fragrance. For the first years with my own one, I’d been disappointed by an apparent lack of scent. (But I don’t have a particularly strong sense of smell, so I thought I could be at fault.) I wondered whether individual shrubs could vary in the amount of scent they produced.

This year I was very pleased to find that my viburnum does indeed produce scent. At the moment it has far more flowers than ever before, so their sweetness has been noticeable in the air. Getting up close to the viburnum while I photographed the clematis in its branches was a very pleasant experience. There are some delightful benefits to spending time in a cold winter garden!

20 thoughts on “Winter Scent: Viburnum Bodnantense ‘Dawn’

  1. Now I’m curious. There’s a shrub often planted around here that has little purple flowers in winter, and a lovely scent. I’ve never been able to figure out what it is, and no one I ask knows either. It’s time to either get an ID from my plant app, or take a bit to our local nursery and find out what it truly is. It would be funny if it were a viburnum.

    At any rate, it doesn’t have any of that ice that makes yours even more attractive. After our great ice event of 2020, I’m not eager for ice, but if some were to come, you’ve shown what a great addition it can be to a photo!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I suspect that it may be a Daphne. They have a fabulous scent in winter and some do have purple/pale purple flowers. (I’ve only seen pink or white flowers on Viburnums, but there’s lots of them, so you never know…)

      We have a lot of frost at the moment, so there have been a few chilly mornings out with the camera. This photo was taken in a year that we had snow (not a common event for us) and this was the result of the snow becoming half-melted. Right now I’m glad to be getting warm by the fire with a good cup of coffee! (And milder weather will be very welcome when it returns. 🙂 )

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The flowers that get frosted go brown but the buds are unharmed and some of the newly-opened flowers will probably be OK too. It will have flowers for a good while yet. 🙂


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