Introduces 'Hartlage Wine'
plant of interest in the Piedmont garden passed down from one
generation to another is the Carolina allspice or sweet Betsy,
Calycanthus floridus. So fragrant are the dusky rose-colored
blossoms that some older folks claim that young women would hide
them in their clothing as perfume.
A new hybrid, 'Hartlage Wine', portends to be another Piedmont
favorite. Available at local nurseries this fall, x Sinocalycalycanthus
raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine' is an intergeneric hybrid of Calycanthus
floridus and Sinocalycanthus chinensis, the Chinese
wax plant. This plant was developed through the efforts of Richard
Hartlage while a student at NC State in the early 1990s. The plant's
unusual name reflects the plant's genetic parentage and the influence
of the late horticulture professor J. C. Raulston on Hartlage's
Raulston allspice, as the plant is known, is an outstanding, fast-growing
deciduous shrub that performs best in partial shade, although
plants will prosper in full sun with adequate water. The flowers,
3 to 4 inches in diameter with maroon outer and white-tinged central
petals, are borne at the leaf axils and open just prior to leaf
emergence in the spring. Unfortunately, 'Hartlage Wine' flowers
do not exhibit the heady fragrance of Carolina allspice, but the
striking beauty of the blossoms more than makes up for this genetic
This plant is a vigorous grower and, if left unpruned, will likely
reach a height of 6 to 8 feet. To control the height, simply cut
back the canes to the ground every few years.
The many desirable characteristics exhibited by this plant made
it worthy of recent introduction to the nursery industry by the
JC Raulston Arboretum. Inquire about 'Hartlage Wine" at your
local garden center. To learn more, visit
photos 'Hartlage Wine'
All photos by Robert E. Lyons