What is this plant?

Posted on | Friday, February 26, 2010 | 16 Comments

I really like the smell of this plant. I always disregarded it as a shrub that fills space in the garden. There is one growing right outside my studio room window and yesterday, I was trying to get the screen back into the window and I plucked a couple stems to put into a vase. Later, Matt smelled it and said its scent was nice... and it was! It is fresh smelling, a little medicinal and just a little sweet. Does anyone know what it is called?



Thank you, in advance!
Update: Thanks to Amelia and Alison! It is Pieris japonica, or also known as the lily-of-the-valley shrub! Looks like lily-of-the-valley, but it is a shrub. It has to be easy to grow because it is growing like a weed outside my window and I've neglected to water it... umm, ever. It was here before we moved into the house.


16 Responses to “What is this plant?”

  1. Amelia
    February 26, 2010 at 3:09 PM

    Lily of the valley, I think. It smells wonderful! And is so cute. I think it grows best in the shade and it likes very moist areas. I have tried to grow it twice and it just won't grow for me. Lucky!

  2. Amelia
    February 26, 2010 at 3:12 PM

    Ok, so now that I look closer I take it back, I don't think it is Lily of the Valley :( The flowers look similar to Lily of the valley but there are too many of them and if it is a shrub then that is not right either. Sorry, good luck figuring it out.

  3. alisonpage
    February 26, 2010 at 3:13 PM

    the flowers definitely look like lily of the valley, if its a shrub myra, it might be a flowering japonica - possibly "Pieris japonica" ?

  4. alisonpage
    February 26, 2010 at 3:22 PM


  5. Myra - twigs and honey
    February 26, 2010 at 3:33 PM

    Yeah! Woot!
    Thank you Amelia and Alison! It is a shrub and after reading up on the link it is definitely pieris japonica/lily-of-the-valey shrub. Thank you!! I never would have figured it out myself. This shrub outside of my window is huge!

  6. Janet
    February 26, 2010 at 3:38 PM

    It's pieris also known as andromeda. It looks great in bouquets...



  7. alisonpage
    February 26, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    yay! that's neat you noticed a medicinal smell Myra - i was reading a wikipedia entry about the genus "Pieris" and it says it can be crushed to treat or soothe pain!

  8. Myra - twigs and honey
    February 26, 2010 at 3:41 PM

    Thank you, Janet! You are spot on correct! I looked at the shrub some more and that is exactly what it is! :D So excited that it's not a mystery plant anymore. :)

    Alison: really?? Sweet! I am going to look that up too. I always like "natural" remedies!

  9. alisonpage
    February 26, 2010 at 3:58 PM

    hmm, just found a paper from the Journal of Natural Products that says a variety of "Pieris japonica" from China is a "poisonous plant", but used in "folk medicine to cure vomiting and diarrhea caused by sunstroke"... hmm more research and caution required ;)
    maybe i should stick to marine invertebrates and not delve into plants ;)

  10. alisonpage
    February 26, 2010 at 4:14 PM


    this website lists it at "Major toxicity"
    perhaps wikipedia should be careful...

  11. Myra - twigs and honey
    February 26, 2010 at 4:21 PM

    Thank you, Alison, for looking into the details! That helps me!! :D

  12. alisonpage
    February 26, 2010 at 4:33 PM

    sorry about that myra, i was concerned there for a minute, too many mixed messages out there on the internet :)
    surely though, a very beautiful shrub!

  13. postcards and pretties
    February 26, 2010 at 8:15 PM

    ohhh it's lovely

  14. araon
    March 1, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    Hi! This post is likable and your blog is very interesting, congratulations!
    add your

  15. オテモヤン
    March 1, 2010 at 9:47 AM
  16. Jen Kim
    March 5, 2010 at 7:21 AM

    gorgeous blog! i adore lily of the valley, can't wait for spring :-)

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