Calicanti are medium-sized, deciduous shrubs originating in China; in fact the common name refers to a plant belonging to the genus of calycanthacee, but whose species is called Chimonanthus. The species of chimonanthus existing in nature are few, and in particular only one, chimonanthus praecox, is grown in Italy. It produces a disordered shrub, with various erect, well-branched stems, which give rise to a dense and intricate vegetation; the leaves appear in spring, after or during flowering, and are elongated, very similar to those of a peach or willow, lanceolate, of medium green color. The peculiar characteristic of the calicanto are certainly the flowers, which bloom in the middle of winter, in February or March, regardless of the climatic conditions, and well before the plant has started to produce the leaves; the result is an apparently dry shrub, completely covered with very fragrant flowers. The flowers bloom from the old wood, without a stalk; they have elongated, waxy, white or yellow petals.
Decorative shrub, very rustic and resistant, which survives the winters of northern Italy without problems, without fear of frost and snow; produces yellow or white flowers, very fragrant. In late spring it fills with leaves, even if without the flowers it becomes a fairly anonymous shrub, without decorative details; the erect posture and the intertwined branches make it also suitable for creating hedges, despite losing the foliage in the winter months. Easy-to-grow plant, once settled in the garden it tends to be satisfied with the water of the weather and does not require special care. Pruning is done in the spring, after the flowers have wilted.