Calycanthus floridus (Sweet-shrub)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

While primarily native to several southeastern states,* this trouble-free shrub, also known as Carolina Allspice, does well in Northern Virginia. It delights the senses with showy and fragrant flowers when planted as a specimen or a screening hedge near a front door or patio.

*In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it grows in isolated counties from PA to VA. It is not native to NoVA.

Print Version (Legal Size): Calycanthus floridus (Sweet-shrub)
Shrub Height: 6–9 Spread: 6–12 Bloom Color: Maroon Characteristics Upright, multi-stemmed, deciduous shrub with rounded habit in sun and open habit in shade Lustrous, leathery, aromatic, ovate to elliptic, dark green leaves turn yellow in fall Showy 2-inch maroon flowers with overlapping, strap-like tepals have fruity fragrance April–July Wrinkled, urn-shaped, 3-inch fruit (pseudocarp) matures from green to brown & persists into winter Spreads by suckering to form colonies    Attributes Tolerates clay soil and wet soil No serious pests or diseases Deer seldom severely damage Attracts beetle pollinators; mammals eat seeds Growing and Maintenance Tips Soil Requirements: Well-drained loam Light Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade Water Requirements: Moist Prune immediately after flowering to shape; remove root suckers if spreading not desired Shallow roots benefit from mulch Use in shrub borders, foundation plantings Hardiness: USDA Zones 4–9  Excellent Replacement for Daphne sp. - Daphne Lonicera spp. - Bush Honeysuckle Michelia figo - Banana Shrub Philadelphis lewisii - Mock Orange Syringa vulgaris - Lilac  *In the Mid-Atlantic Region, it grows in isolated counties from PA to VA. It is not native to NoVA.Learn more about other Mid-Atlantic plants: Tried and True Plant Fact Sheets