Attractive woodland plants Chloranthus are a small group of woodland plants from Japan and China. Generally with glossy green foliage and scented flowers. Some species with almost black stems and arching white flowers are rather elegant plants, not a real show off, but attractive.
It is Chloranthus japonicus with its mint green foliage with fluffy white terminal flower spikes in spring that is one of the most widely grown species. Reaching over .5m in height it grows very well in dappled shade with some moisture through the year..
Other Chloranthus species include .
- C. henyri – Larger rounds toothed leaves with a spike of white flowers, reach around 45 cm in height.
- C. sessilifolius – Deep red to black stems, glossy green foliage and with white flowers held above the leaves.
- C. spicatus – With the wonderful common name of Pearl Orchid, and the not so attractive name of Chicken foot orchid, this is a species with greenish yellow flowers. It is a very fragrant species and grows in low light. Sometimes used as an indoor plant.
- C. fortunei – Anotyer species with black stems, and the new foliage is a deep red to black as well before turning to gree. WHite flowers on tall stems in spring. Reaching around 40 cm in height. Over time it will spread to form a dense clump, however this is a slow grower.
- C. serratus – Low growing to around 30 cm in height. Mid green foliage and white flowers.
- C. erectus – This is a tropical species from Indonesia. Deeper green glossy foliage with small white flowers, and taller growing to nearly 3 metres in height. Siad to have medicinal uses, and once used to make tea, not readily available for sale.
Chloranthus prefers a humus rich moist well drained soil in light shade. Some forms are taller than others.
Available from the following Nurseries