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This article is about the Carpenteria plant. For other uses, see Carpenteria (disambiguation).
"Tree anemone" redirects here. For the sea anemone, see Actinodendron arboreum.
Carpenteria californica
Carpenteria californica0.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Cornales
Family: Hydrangeaceae
Genus: Carpenteria
Species: C. californica
Binomial name
Carpenteria californica

Carpenteria californica /ˌkɑrpənˈtɪəriə ˌkælɨˈfɔrnɨkə/,[1] the sole species in the genus Carpenteria, is a flowering evergreen shrub native to California. It is closely related to the genus Philadelphus. Common names include tree anemone and bush anemone.

It is a rare species, endemic to only seven sites in Fresno and Madera Counties, where it grows in chaparral between 340–1,340 m (1,115–4,396 ft) altitude between the San Joaquin and King rivers. It is well adapted to wildfire, reproducing by stump sprouts after burning; natural seedlings are rare.

It grows to 1–3 m (3 ft 3 in–9 ft 10 in) tall, with flaky bark on older stems. The leaves are opposite, lanceolate, 4–10 cm long and 1-2.5 cm broad, glossy green above, blue-green to whitish and downy beneath. The flowers are 3–7 cm diameter, with 5-8 pure white petals and a cluster of yellow stamens; flowering is from late spring to mid summer. The fruit is a leathery capsule 6–12 mm diameter, containing numerous seeds.

It is a popular ornamental plant in gardens with Mediterranean climates, grown for its decorative flowers; it is now much more common in cultivation than in the wild. Several cultivars have been selected, including 'Bodnant', a cold-tolerant cultivar hardy to −15 °C (5 °F) in the British Isles, and 'Ladham's' with large flowers.

The species has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.[2]

Note that Carpenteria should not be confused with the similarly spelled Carpentaria, a genus of palms native to northern Australia.


The genus was named in honor of Dr. William Marbury Carpenter,[3] a noted botanist from Louisiana.


  1. ^ Sunset Western Garden Book, 1995:606–607
  2. ^
  3. ^ Glenn R. Conrad, ed.: A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography, Vol. I, A to M, The Louisiana Historical Association, New Orleans, La., 1988, pp. 24, 153-154, 303. 557.

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