Lindera benzoin (Spicebush, Northern Spicebush)

Tried and True Native Plant Selections for the Mid-Atlantic

This ornamental shrub, which is common throughout most of the Mid-Atlantic Region, produces small, fragrant yellow flowers that cluster at the nodes of bare stems before leaves appear in early spring. The Virginia Native Plant Society named Spicebush as Wildflower of the Year in 2006.

Print Version: Lindera benzoin, (Spicebush, Northern Spicebush)
Lindera benzoin, (Northern) Spicebush Shrub Male/Female Flowers, Spring/Early Fall Shrubs, Fruit Height: 61⁄2–16 feet Spread: 6–12 feet Bloom Color: Greenish-yellow Characteristics Deciduous shrub with broad, rounded habit Dioecious: separate male and female plants; plant sex may not be known for purchased plants Oval, sea-green leaves Fragrant yellow flowers from March to May Green drupes ripen to scarlet on female plants in summer; male plant needed nearby for fruit to set Clear, rich yellow foliage in autumn (turns brighter yellow with a little sun) Attributes Tolerates clay soil, dense shade, and drought No serious pests or diseases Deer seldom severely damage Smooth, gray-brown bark speckled with light- colored lenticels attractive in winter Aromatic, herbal, therapeutic (berry/bark teas) uses High wildlife value; larval host of Eastern Tiger & Spicebush Swallowtails and Promethea silkmoth Growing and Maintenance TipsSoil Requirements: Rich, well-drainedLight Requirements: Sun, Partial Shade, Shade Water Requirements: MoistUse as a hedge or in rain or woodland gardensHardiness: USDA Zones 4–9 Excellent Replacement for Eleagnus umbellata - Autumn Olive Ligustrum species - Privets Lonicera species - Bush Honeysuckles Rhamnus fangula - Tall Hedge Buckthorn
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