Stachyurus praecox is a wonderful shrub which deserves to be much more widely grown. It's blooming now in Portland so this is the season to check it out and also the season when you'll most likely be able to find it at the nurseries. It's a bit of a collector's plant so you'll need to get it from your local independent nursery vs. a big-box supplier.
One of its most wonderful qualities are these unique pendulous blooms that appear before the foliage in early spring. Situated in front of dark evergreens the creamy blooms are all the more striking. Reliable yellow fall color is an asset as well.
This photo is taken in a client's front garden and this vignette looks great year-yound. The other prominent plants pictured are Astelia 'Red Gem' in the lower right and the evergreen backdrop is Cryptomeria japonica 'Rein's Dense Jade'.
And I'm not the only one singing its praises, it's a Great Plant Pick. So keep your eyes out for this wonderful garden plant and snap it up if you're in the market for a medium to large-ish shrub for your garden.