The berries are usually not around for very long once they are ripe. The bold yellow flowers of forsythia, a shrub introduced from Asia, are a sure sign of spring in the temperate U.S. (zones 5 to 8), but that is a one-act show. Glad you enjoyed it! http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/spicebush.htm, http://www.nhm.ac.uk/research-curation/research/projects/hostplants/. Posted on April 16, 2017 by gardeninacity. I’ve always liked Forsythia even though it is overused. I like your Spice bush best too but the image of the Forsythia mass planted is striking, I don’t think I’ve seen it used like that before. Zones: 5-8. The tiny yellow-green, non-fragrant flowers of spicebush are produced in clusters along the bare branches and are amongst the earliest to appear in the spring, typically blooming about the same time as forsythia. Tough and reliable, the shrub typically grows to 8- to 10-feet. http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/. Where’s the second act, they ask, after the flowers are done? Agreed, though like I said, you have to get up close to really appreciate it. It has an erect habit, with most canes growing upright. Honeysuckle, potentilla and Scotch broom flower all summer long. Yesterday I brought in some Lilac buds. Lindera spicebush care in the garden isn’t at all difficult to achieve when the plant is given suitable growing conditions. Flowers early to mid spring. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. I don’t have a spice-bush, but a forsythia. The Forsythia does contribute to the cheerfulness of spring. Thanks for introducing me to the Lindera, delicately pretty. Color: Yellow flowers, green and yellow variegated foliage, red stems. I agree with you choice. Get yours today! Where Spicebush is native, it has important relationships with animals that have evolved with it over the centuries. Every spring its yellow flowers emit a spicy, sweet fragrance. birds that are often found in the same habitat as Spicebush, are especially partial to them. Oh, all the plants I would have if I only had more space. 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.The blooms attract bees and other beneficial insects. Spicebush has male and female flowers on separate plants. Forsythia is frequently kept indoors in the early spring. Blossoms are edible raw, though they taste rather bitter. Buy Spicebush Flowering Shrubs Online - The Spicebush bush is a broad, rounded multi-stemmed flowering shrub covered with fragrant yellow-green flowers in early spring.On Lindera benzoin the flowers open before the leaves emerge and are held close to the branches. I have a few forsythia here, but no spicebush. Forsythia here is ubiquitous (I needed a chance to use that word). I have no forsythia only spicebush. I moved them down below and now I enjoy wandering down to visit/admire them and (when they are bigger again) am looking forward to forcing stems in the house. As an introvert myself I appreciate the finer qualities of spicebush. I found it thru a fb post by Virginia Native Plant Society; so glad! I’m not made about forsythia, but it’s great in the right place. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Forsythia × intermedia is the more commonly grown, is smaller, has an upright habit, and produces strongly coloured flowers. Example of the problem: Dense Japanese honeysuckle vines on a stream bank in Radnor Lake State Natural Area, TN. Though I believe there is Spicebush at the Ladybird Johnson Center. But we’re not the only creatures who have figured out this strategy for locating them. Except for very small plants, these caterpillars rarely cause serious damage. I would be sad if some new disease emerged and wiped out all the Forsythia in the world. The past few years they have been stunning around here since our winters have been mild. It wasn’t the little white flowers on the ground that demanded my attention, but the spicebush blossoms. Forsythia x intermedia. ( Log Out /  It seems to grow in areas that tend to have acidic soil, like the southeast. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! I have neither spicebush nor forsythia in my garden but would have both had I more space. Plant in sun or partial shade, ideally in moist but well drained soil. Even so, I give a higher priority to Spicebush in our garden. So the caterpillars have evolved to protect themselves by destroying the evidence of their dining experience. Learn how your comment data is processed. Looking for holes in leaves is one way to find these caterpillars. The flowers attract butterflies and other pollinators. Kim Eierman, a bee expert and the founder of EcoBeneficial, said: “It is a forage source for some of our early season bees, as well as a host plant for the Eastern tiger swallowtail and the spicebush swallowtail butterflies. Inspect the … but instead took pleasure informing all my riding buddies of all it’s attributes. This deciduous shrub is one of the most vibrant early flowering shrubs in spring. I have one Forsythia too and wouldn’t be without it’s splash of colour this time of year. Last year I wrote a post (which you can read here) about how the Forsythia was blooming very sparsely. My shrubs don’t bear lots of berries, and those don’t last long before eaten by birds. It's either time for hard pruning or renovation pruning. !…miss you…. I am truly jealous you get to enjoy it out your windows! How to grow Forsythia 'Spectabilis' Plant size. Beautiful! Genus Forsythia are deciduous shrubs with simple, occasionally lobed, leaves and short tubular yellow flowers with 4 spreading lobes, borne profusely before the leaves in spring Details F. suspensa is a deciduous, arching shrub to 3m tall and wide. Also… I have heard Spicebush called Poor Mans Forsythia. They seem to exemplify two different styles in the garden. Many named garden cultivars can also be found. While I watched, this caterpillar crawled to the stem of the leaf it had been eating. Over the weekend when the temperatures reached 80°F in the latest round of weather whiplash, the buds burst open, resulting in a display of bright yellow starbursts lighting up the forest understory. It was so exciting to see! ( Log Out /  It grows 8 to 10 feet tall and 10 to 12 feet wide. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) with Spring Azure butterfly nectaring. Performing plants are more relevant in gardens where space is a premium. Find specific plants with our Plant Finder & Plant Selector. I think their bloom is so sweet. I think it has naturalized here in Oregon, and is probably available somewhere. Way to go Mary Anne! The flowers bloom before the leaves unfurl, making it easy for pollinators to find them. Thanks, Laura! Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. Spicebush - Forsythia of the Woods by Sarah (former Allen County Parks Outdoor Educator & Volunteer Coordinator) Two weeks ago, I went out for a hike to check out the spring wildflowers. I love your Spicebush, so delicate.xxx. Such a pleasure to visit & revisit your posts, as I study for Bowman’s tours. For permission to use articles or photographs, Contact Me. The tidbit on Spicebush caterpillars cutting off partially-eaten leaves is fascinating (& new to me) – many thanks! Spicebush blooms around the same time that forsythia does and has benefits for wildlife, too. I N CASE I FAILED TO CONVINCE YOU in earliest spring that you didn’t want a Forsythia, but a Lindera benzoin or spicebush instead, more evidence just presented itself. Exposure: Full sun to partial shade. Forsythia Types. It is bright, brash, and unconstrained. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and Forsythia, two shrubs that burst into yellow flowers in early spring. We used to have Forsythia but when the bullfinches stripped the flower buds year after year, I got rid of it. A forsythia shrub is tough and easy to care for. Just proves what works on a large scale doesn’t always scale down. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. It’s enhanced by proper light and a dark background, otherwise it is difficult to photograph. Black-Throated Blue Warblers may be put off by a snake-like disguised caterpillar. For the past few weeks, Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) buds looked like they couldn’t wait to open. The leaves and twigs had that wonderful aroma when crushed, and the berries were a bright orange-red. I have forsythia, which I like to cut in February to force indoors and have some hope of spring to come. A male plant is needed to produce berries. If you stay on top of pruning forsythia bushes you will be able to keep them well under control. Spicebush, og course. Some are weeping, creating a wild, unkempt look. It’s true that no plant is perfect, Sunil, but couldn’t they try a little harder? Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar using its silk to create a leaf shelter. Forsythia grow quickly once established. Forsythia is hardy and very easy to grow. So I’m opting for Spicebush. Both forsythia and spicebush evoke pleasant memories. At least not yet. Change ). I gave up on forsythia years ago, always losing blooms to frost. Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar. Not long now! Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Forsythia suspensa, commonly called Weeping forsythia, is a popular plant all on its own and is still widely grown for its large size and pale yellow flowers. Time to celebrate!”. May 12, 2018 - Forsythia bushes have a wonderful arching habit will makes them a focal point when planted in a garden bed. Fascinating photographic record of, among other delights, the behavior of the spicebush swallowtail caterpillars. Pink coralberry berries. So if you are using them in your landscape, you will want a male to pollinate the female plants in order to see the bright red fruits that complement this shrub’s yellow fall foliage. Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar, destroying the evidence of its presence by chewing through the leaf stem. This is because the primary food plants for Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars are Spicebush (Lindera benzoin and in the southern U.S., also L. melissifolia) and the related Sassafras (Sassafras albidum), which is usually found in the same type of habitat. I was delighted when I noticed it in southern Illinois and Missouri when trail riding in ravines and low places, often a open colonies. I will though. Without those elements, and from a short distance, Spicebush is unremarkable. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Well-known yellow-flowering shrubs include forsythia and honeysuckle, but many others exist. Have fun with your new space! Subtly good in spring, it’s fall’s runaway winner. See how RHS can give expert advice on growing, feeding, pruning and propagating plants. Spicebush is the introvert, murmuring politely with its fuzzy little blooms. Forsythia × intermedia Mikador ('Minfor6') (PBR) £69.99. As the flowers fade in later summer the lovely green foliage ensures that the plant remains a handsome feature. Female Spicebush Swallowtails lay their eggs singly on the underside of a leaf. For many, the deciduous forsythia shrub (Forsythia spp.) That would make it a pretty pointless plant to have around. Birds feed on the small, brilliant red fruits formed on female plants. I wouldn’t devote more space to Forsythia, but I’m glad we have the one shrub. I’m glad you find the posts helpful. Forsythia is not a favored shrub but oh, that shout of yellow comes along at exactly the right time out in the mixed hedgerow where it can easily be ignored when not in bloom. Each caterpillar eats a few leaves of a Spicebush during its development. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. ( Log Out /  Cultivated as a low-maintenance ornamental bush, forsythia is an extremely popular ornamental shrub in parks and gardens all over the UK and Ireland and is seldom found out of cultivated spaces. All shrubs need pruning but what do you do when you have really overgrown forsythia? If I had to choose only one, though, I would go with the Spicebush. Height/Spread: Upright compact habit, 3 to 5 feet tall and wide. Check out this article for more information on forsythia bushes.It talks about pruning, transplanting, forcing and other gardening tasks related to forsythia. After the caterpillars hatch from the eggs, they depend on the leaves of these plants for both food and shelter. I’ve not grown either one so I don’t have a preference. Spicebush Swallowtail Life Cycle Stages and Duration. Some say that its dense, thickety habit provides good cover for song birds. Spicebush. Great article Mary Anne! I like the spicebush. That’s great, Michelle! However, some consider Forsythia to be something of a one trick pony. But a neglected shrub can grow to quite an immense size in both height and width. I imagine it would do quite well in your garden. Categories deciduous trees & shrubs. Of the two, Forsythia is normally the extrovert, making a big noise in the garden with its boisterous yellow flowers (and probably annoying the other shrubs who are just starting to rouse themselves). Never heard of birds stripping the flower buds. A particular favorite is ‘Fiesta’. It’s a shrub that more people should plant. Eastman, John. Apr 4, 2020 - Spicebush is a flowering shrub native to Eastern North America that is very beneficial to wildlife. Its characteristic weeping habit makes it an excellent hedging plant. A mass of Forsythia makes a statement that cannot be missed even at a considerable distance. Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email. Witch hazel blooms in mid-to-late winter. Imagine my surprise when I saw this talented photographer’s spicebush photo on the Virginia Native Plant Society’s Facebook page. The content of this blog is copyrighted. Tags. Wildflower.org says it’s native range does include NH, if that’s any comfort. For a more complete show, consider spicebush Lindera benzoin). Sometimes called Northern Spicebush or Common Spicebush, this shrub is native in the north from Maine to Ontario, Michigan, Iowa and Kansas, then its range extends south to Texas and throughout the southeastern United States to Florida. As far as Forsythia goes, I prefer the variegated varieties as their season of interest extends beyond the flowers and they tend to remain smaller in size. The bright red berries are produced in midsummer and are favorites of a number of birds. And the ripe red berries are a high quality food for migrating birds. Illinois Wildflowers http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/trees/plants/spicebush.htm, Natural History Museum Database of Leipidoptera Hostplants The former, technically known as Lindera benzoin , shown up top, has tiny yellow flowers with a spicy fragrance in … Spicebush I keep hoping to find in the woods but it likes limestone soil and we have very little of that. Forsythia intermedia (also known as border forsythia) and forsythia suspensa (common name weeping forsythia) are two varieties prized for being tough and hardy. (even w/ me being 5 years late to see it – LOL). The most reliable forsythia available, its a welcome harbinger of spring with masses of deep yellow blooms, offered up on bare stems, from early March. thanks Mary Anne for sharing…..II always look forward to seeing your posts!! I like the look of your spicebush but haven’t met one over here. A Promethea Moth and the Awe-inspiring Power of Nature, Butterflies and Moths of North America The Forsythia may be best viewed from a distance. Some bird species also know enough to look for partially eaten leaves to point them to a tasty meal of caterpillar protein. 1.8m spread . This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. and one of the giant silk moths, the Promethea Moth. The photos are so very beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing a spicebush swallowtail butterfly soon. Trim back after flowering. This snake disguise is an effective deterrent to at least some of the birds that might otherwise eat the caterpillars, since snakes are the birds’ predators in their wintering grounds. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) and Forsythia, two shrubs that burst into yellow flowers in early spring. Ideally, there should be space for both Spicebush and Forsythia. It chewed through the stem, and the incriminating evidence, the partially eaten leaf, fell to the ground. Red spicebush berries. Sometimes called Northern Spicebush or Common Spicebush, this shrub is native in the north from Maine to Ontario, Michigan, Iowa and Kansas, then its range extends south to Texas and throughout the southeastern United States to Florida. Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) in bloom, with ant seeking nectar. Mature shrubs are quite graceful, particularly in spring when you see the branches and buds. Connecting people to nature in the Washington, DC area: places to go, what to look for, and gorgeous photos for when you're stuck indoors. Each swallowtail larva creates a shelter by folding over the leaf it is eating, securing it closed with silk. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. It’s enhanced by proper light and a dark background, otherwise it is difficult to photograph. This question is discussed in one of my more popular posts, “Forsythia: For or Against?”. The beauty of Spicebush flowers is subtle, and you have to get up close to appreciate it. I used to have two of them screaming up at me on one of our slopes that I can see from the house. I keep meaning to bring in Forsythia and always forget. Forsythia can make quite a statement. Hello Jason, we have a young forsythia and look forward to its bright, gaudy yellow display each spring. Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillar; notice the evidence of feeding on the leaf in the lower right corner. It is an introverted shrub, but a very praiseworthy one. You have given me encouragement! (231) 464-5809 info@coldstreamfarm.net As always an interesting, informative article! I wonder if the mortar from the bricks helps yours any. Japanese honeysuckle - Lonicera japonica. I’ve never seen a variegated Forsythia, sounds interesting. (small) I can’t wait until they bloom. I watched the egg pictured in this post being laid. Get free shipping on qualified Spicebush Shrub Forsythia Shrubs & Bushes or Buy Online Pick Up in Store today in the Outdoors department. Many insects, including early butterflies, visit the flowers for nectar, but early solitary bees and flies are the primary pollinators. but they can also be found in the woods in the vicinity of their namesake plant, Spicebush. Caterpillars and other insects are an important source of food for birds, especially when the birds are raising their young. Emerged and wiped Out all the forsythia does contribute to the garden isn ’ t bear lots of,... Forsythia to be something of a number of birds here since our winters have been around! Until they bloom NH, if that ’ s great in the woods in the lower right corner fruits! Tasty meal of caterpillar protein when planted in a garden bed does contribute to the pale of... Articles or photographs, Contact me off by a snake-like disguised caterpillar forsythia: for or?. 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Forsythia, two shrubs that burst into yellow flowers early in the woods sharing….. always! Including early butterflies, visit the flowers are followed by showy non-serrated leaves a! Forsythia but when the birds are raising their young shrub forsythia shrubs & bushes or Buy Online Pick up Store! S likely because I ’ m glad we have the one shrub jealous get. Forsythia suspensa is a good time to look for spicebush Swallowtail butterflies often... Information on forsythia years ago, always losing blooms to frost that I see! Giant silk moths, the partially eaten leaf, fell to the pale yellow of the forsythia was blooming sparsely! Care in the woods, behind my house, there is spicebush at beginning... Enough to look for partially eaten leaf, fell to the cheerfulness of spring that say “. I wrote a post ( which you can read here ) about how the forsythia buds to that... Native to Eastern North America that is true, which is sad for of. 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