Chinese Emmenopterys

Emmenopterys henryi

Family: Rubiaceae
Genus: Emmenopterys (em-men-OP-ter-iss) (Info)
Species: henryi (HEN-ree-eye) (Info)



Foliage Color:


Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are good for drying and preserving

This plant is attractive to bees, butterflies and/or birds

Flowers are fragrant

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)

10-12 ft. (3-3.6 m)


Unknown - Tell us


USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

USDA Zone 10a: to -1.1 C (30 F)

USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade


Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring


Grown for foliage



This plant is fire-retardant

Other details:

This plant may be considered a protected species; check before digging or gathering seeds

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Unknown - Tell us

Propagation Methods:

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Seed does not store well; sow as soon as possible

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:

Anniston, Alabama

Clermont, Georgia

Louisville, Kentucky

Trenton, New Jersey

Dinwiddie, Virginia

Gardeners' Notes:


On Dec 19, 2014, bkrhodesva from DINWIDDIE, VA wrote:

I have found it very easy to take cuttings from this plant. I collected about 25 throughout the summer and every single one rooted using hormone. I was really suprised how easy it was to get these to root. Sandeman seeds will have seeds beginning in late Jan. for shipment. the website is


On Sep 25, 2010, snasxs from Fort Lauderdale, FL wrote:

Emmenopterys henryi is an endangered or close-to-extinct large tree of monotypic genus in the Rubiaceae. Endemic to some inaccessible provinces in China, the deciduous tree can grow to over 100 feet with large dark green opposite leaves and red petioles.

The clusters of fragrant creamy white fowers are surrounded by large white "racts" similar to Georgia Pinkneya tree. However, E henryi flowers are intensely fragrant and a tree in full bloom releases powerful sensation.

The famed China-Explorer E.H. Wilson called it "the glory of the Chinese forests"

The JCRaulston Arboretum of the prestigious NC State University calls it one of the holy grails of the plant kingdom

What contributes to such passion from botanists who encountere... read more