Learn tips for creating your most beautiful (and bountiful) garden ever. Some mammals include whitetail deer, Eastern cottontail rabbit, opossums. It likes partial shade and in its natural habitat grows as an understory plant, beneath deciduous trees and larger shrubs. Native to the low woods, stream banks, and wetlands of the eastern United States and Canada, spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is an easy-to-grow, deciduous shrub in the Lauraceae family. Spicebush becomes a large, 5- to 8-foot-tall shrub that is slightly wider than tall. Shipped in tree-pots (not bare-root). Spicebush is available from nurseries specializing in native plants. Flowers and Fruit The flowers of the spicebush appear early in the spring (March or early April) prior to the emergence of the leaves. Used to make essential oils and fragrant sachets, northern spicebush also provides food for over 20 species of birds. The berries are a favorite food of wood thrushs. Although it can be grown from seed with relative ease, Spicebush is not as easily propagated otherwise. You can plant this shrub in most locations since it can handle full sun to full shade. It is accustomed to cold winters, warm springs, and mild to hot summers - although thanks to its adaptable nature it can tolerate a wide range of conditions. The best time to take softwood cuttings for spicewood propagation is in the late summer or fall. In fact, spicebush was traditionally used by Native Americans as a medicinal tea. Spicebush is known by a variety of names, including spicewood, wild allspice, snap-bush, feverwood, and Benjamin bush. Lindera spicebush care in the garden isn’t at all difficult to achieve when the plant is given suitable growing conditions. This is the host plant to the elegant Spicebush Swallowtail Butterfly (pictured above in both it’s forms). Because the plants may be either male or female, a grouping of three to five seed-grown specimens is recommended to ensure berry formation. Spicebush is a good choice for a butterfly garden, as it is the preferred food source for several butterflies, including black and blue spicebush swallowtail butterflies. Host plant for Cori is a freelance writer based out of Ontario, Canada, who specializes in houseplants and houseplant care. This is another wonderful American native shrub. Plant spicebush in masses, in shady sites and to support and encourage wildlife. Spicebush does not require heavy pruning, and pruning is usually only for aesthetic reasons and to help it maintain its shape. Plant spicebush in moist, well-drained soil. Host Plant The entire plant is aromatic. It’s an excellent, low maintenance plant for a permaculture garden, but if you’re going to plant it, we should probably talk about sex. Plants have a broad, multibranched, rounded form My professor broke one of the twigs and had us breathe in the lemony aroma. Spicebush should be fertilized twice during each growing season. Fall color is best in sunny areas. Plant spicebush in moist, well-drained soil. Male spicebush grows clusters of yellow-green flowers in the spring, whereas the female spicebush can be identified by the bright red berries that adorn the bush in the late summer months. In early spring, aromatic, yellow-green flowers adorn its multiple stems, which has given the spicebush the nickname, "forsythia of the wilds." Harvest the berries in the late summer or fall once they have turned red and remove the seed from inside. Over 20 species of birds including both gamebirds and song birds such as ring-necked pheasant, bobwhite, ruffed grouse and others have been known to feed on spicebush. Caterpillar Food Plant: Spicebush The following article originally appeared in Butterfly Gardener, a NABA publication for members. Tolerates full shade, but habit becomes more open. It is most often planted near the back of the shrub boarder or as a foundation planting. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Spicebush, northern spicebush, Benjaminbush Plant Type Deciduous shrub Mature Size 6-12 feet tall Sun Exposure Full sun to partial sun Soil Type Moist, well-draining Soil pH 5.0-8.0 Bloom Time Early spring Flower Color Yellow Hardiness Zones 4-9 Spicebush grows to 10 feet tall, with pretty, teardrop-shaped leaves 2 to 5 inches long. It grows best in part shade, and you’ll find it under beeches, oaks, and maples. Use a rooting hormone for best results, and plant the cutting in a moistened mixture of perlite and soilless mix. Noteworthy CharacteristicsAromatic foliage, showy fruit, good autumn color. Sow the seeds immediately after harvesting in a pot or directly in the garden bed. Spicebush Swallowtail host plant. It passes by quite unnoticed along many a hiking trail or watershed. spicebush The spicy, citrusy aroma of this versatile understory shrub is enchanting, and the leaves and twigs make a pleasant tea. Externally, they used oil from the pressed berries to ease the pain of arthritis. Spicebush Lindera benzoin Laurel family (Lauraceae) Description: This woody shrub is about 5-15' tall and much branched. Native people used spicebush to ease colds, cough, fever, and measles. Spicebush, named for its spicy, fragrant leaves and stems, is native to moist woodlands in the Midwest and occasionally occur in the Chicago area. It tolerates both alkaline and acidic soils well. Its yellow flowers are followed on the female bushes by red berries that birds love. Spicebush will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. Once established, spicebush usually does not require extra watering outside of the regular rainfall in its growing zones. Growing a spicebush in your garden isn’t difficult if you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 through 9. By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer. These tiny blooms attract many species of butterflies. The central trunk (if present) and larger branches are rather slender; their bark is brown, shiny, and sparsely covered with small white lenticels. Plants do best in good soil with medium shade. Prune after flowering, if needed, to maintain the desired size and shape. It transplants poorly and is best planted in the garden from container-grown plants. It is most often used in landscapes in shrub borders and naturalized areas. Because it’s so adaptable, you can plant spicebush in either alkaline or acid soil, or in full sun to shade, or in sites that are anywhere from occasionally wet to occasionally dry. Flowers in the spring, swallowtail butterflies in the summer and plump red berries in the fall are some of its most eye-catching features. When it's not in bloom, the leaves of spicebush are deep green in the summer months, and golden-yellow in the fall months. In sunny conditions may need to prune to encourage attractive branching. Spicebush Plant Bring Swallowtails to Your Yard This multi-season beauty is lovely to look at and produces a luscious spicy scent that attracts Swallowtail butterflies by the droves. As the name suggests, the plant’s most distinctive feature is the spicy aroma that perfumes the air whenever a leaf or twig is crushed. The ideal situation, however, would be a site in partial shade with loamy, well-drained soil that is only occasionally wet or dry, and is in the pH range of 5.0 to 8.0. Caterpillars of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus) use this species for food. Spicebush grows best in full sun to partial shade conditions. Spicebush flowers in the early spring well before emergence of its leaves. As its name suggests, spicebush leaves and twigs give off a spicy fragrance and flavor when crushed. Spicebush thrives in full sunlight or partial shade. Bright red fruits ripen from July through October on female plants, but are only showy once the foliage falls off. Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Spicebush is a fun plant to know about—a living scratch and sniff! During the first growing season, spicebush should be watered regularly to help it establish a strong root system. Prune after flowering, if needed, to maintain the desired size and shape. Tiny yellow blooms nestle into light green foliage in the spring and summer. Fresh seeds are best when it comes to growing spicebush from seed. White-tail deer, rabbits, opossums, and a variety of small rodents readily eat the aromatic leaves and woody parts of this plant. The tiny yellow flowers are relatively insignificant, but they make an attractive display when the tree is in full bloom. 21 September, 2017. The plants are usually dio ecious, which means that staminate (male) and pistillate (female) flowers occur on separate individuals. You must act quickly, as birds love to eat all the fruits. Collect the small red fruits in early Autumn when they are bright red. Place at least one male plant among females for fruiting. It can add interest to a mixed hedgerow and be effectively massed in the understory of shade trees. NABA member Lenora Larson has graciously allowed us to reprint it here. This is one of its nicest times of year with that wonderful clear yellow fall color. Sign up for our newsletter. Plant males and females to insure fruit set. There are at least three cultivators of spicebush that have been developed, although they are not widely available for purchase. Spicebush swallowtails are not considered to be a pest to the spicebush, which is actually very resilient to pests. How to grow Lindera (Spicebush) Latin Name Pronunciation: lin-dare’uh This genus is comprised of around 80 species of trees and shrubs known for their aromatic leaves, star-shaped flowers, and colorful fall foliage. Let’s explore how to grow spicebush. Historically Native Americans used the fruits of the northern Spicebush is a host plant for spicebush swallowtail butterflies whose larvae feed on it. Once you have some seed, follow the process below for germinating Spicebush seeds. As a 'facultative wetland plant' (which means that it mostly occurs in wetlands) spicebush thrives in moist-well draining soils. In order to grow Spicebush from seed, you need to locate a mature berry producing plant first. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, Spicebush, northern spicebush, Benjaminbush. Fortunately, the berries that adorn the female plants contain its seeds, so if you have a female spicebush (or know someone that does!) Softwood cuttings need high humidity in order to sprout roots, so keep the newly potted softwood cutting in a plastic bag to create a humid environment until roots develop. Native to the eastern parts of North America and Canada, spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is an aromatic shrub often found growing wild in swampy woodlands, forests, valleys, ravines and riparian areas. In nature, spicebush is an understory plant.  The species are shrubs and small trees; common names include spicewood, spicebush, and Benjamin bush. Spicebush is dioecious, meaning male and female flowers are present on separate plants. Use a fertilizer that is specifically formulated for deciduous shrubs for best results. The best time to prune spicebush is after the shrub has finished flowering in the spring. Fertilize spicebush in spring using a balanced, granular fertilizer with an NPK ratio such as 10-10-10. With sweetly aromatic foliage that turns yellow in the fall, this plant is a good choice … They used all parts of the plant interchangeably as compresses (external applications of cloth soaked in tea It can be successfully propagated by softwood cuttings, although a successful propagation can be difficult. Germination will occur in the spring of the following year. Northern spicebush is a shrub found growing across the eastern United States. The green caterpillars have large, black, fake "eye" markings that scare away predators. The shrub is valued not only for its scent, but for the emerald green leaves which, with enough sunlight, turn a lovely shade of yellow in autumn. The berries are especially noticeable after the leaves drop in fall. Its berries have a mild allspice flavor, and when dried and crushed its bark can pass for a mild cinnamon substitute. Scratch a twig with your fingernail or squeeze a berry between your fingers and you will smell the lemony tartness exuding out of the plant. Spicebush is native to the Americas and is hardy in USDA zones 4-9. Plant Name: Spicebush (Lindera Benzoin) Quick Info: Plant is 1-2′ tall. A relatively large shrub, spicebush reaches heights of 6 to 12 feet (1.8 to 3.6 m.) at maturity, with a similar spread. Foliage, Flowers, and Fruit The leaves bear a pleasant scent and are the inspiration for the name spicebush. The spicebush is a common shrub in forest areas with deer, since deer won't eat the fragrant plant. Spicebush would make a great specimen plant near the house for its scent, and bright yellow fall color. Planting it in masses or with a dark background will show the spring flowers better. There’s nothing insignificant about the showy berries, which are glossy and bright red (and loved by birds). Images are provided in galleries and are available by common name, scientific name, family, ecosystem, and wetland indicator status. Spicebush is a deciduous shrub that grows six to ten feet high. It is the preferred food for the black and blue spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae. Our native spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a plant that greatly exceeds expectations. Spicebush leaves reach for the sky in a striking, characteristic fashion in spring. Fertilize spicebush in spring using a balanced, granular fertilizer with an NPK ratio such as 10-10-10. Despite this, spicebush is not widely commercially available and has no known commercial uses. The spiciness of this plant is one of its identifiers. Fertilize in the early spring and then again in midsummer. However, berries develop only on female plants, which won’t occur without a male pollinator. What is spicebush? The blooms attract bees and other beneficial insects. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. The flowers of the female plants beget fragrant fruits, ripening from July through early October to a glossy red. Tolerates full shade, but habit becomes more open and wide-spreading. It is adaptable to a wide range of growing conditions and is low-maintenance once it is established. Also commonly known as northern spicebush and Benjaminbush, spicebush is an aromatic shrub that has interest almost year-round. Larval host plant for Swallowtail butterflies. Spicebush. Louisiana Plant ID is an online resource for images and descrptions of Louisiana plants and ecosystems. It grows rapidly in wet conditions and tolerates humid conditions more readily than overly dry conditions. It is widely considered to be an adaptable shrub and can tolerate a wide range of moisture conditions including short periods of dry soil or very wet soil. This plant also supports Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) larvae which have 2 generations per year from April-October. Spicebush is dioecious, which means that male and female flowers are on separate plants.
2020 when to plant spicebush