If you want a garden plant that no-one else will have (or even recognise) then the Carolina Allspice, (Sinocalycanthus raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine') has got to be your go-to plant. An ideal choice for many gardens from woodland to moderately sunny, it is a robust, deciduous shrub with beautiful, lightly scented, maroon flowers up to 7.5cm (3-4in) across.
A relatively new introduction for gardeners and a first for us here at YouGarden, 'Hartlage Wine' was first revealed at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2010, where it delighted all who encountered it.
The flowers themselves are a delight to see and form along the branches. They are a rich shade of burgundy red, with just a hint of cream towards their centre - simply gorgeous against the backdrop of the lustrous green foliage, which in turn transforms to buttery shades in autumn.
This unusual and delightful shrub is the first successful cross between Calycanthus floridus and Sinocalycanthus chinensis, its rare Chinese counterpart, making it something really special for your garden, and a plant that will amaze all who see it!
Fully hardy, plants can withstand temperatures down to -15°C (5°F) and grow best in part shade, although you can also grow this beauty in full sun if it is kept well-watered until established.