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The Plant Guide

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Carolina allspice

Calycanthus floridus

kal-ih-CAN-thus FLOOR-ih-dus Audio

This deciduous shrub has a dense, rounded habit, growing 6 to 9 feet tall and as wide. Its unusual, waterlily-like, fragrant flowers combine the scent of strawberries, banana, and pineapple. Flowers appear in May and continuing blooming on and off into June and July. The dark green leaves and bark release a clove or camphor-like scent when crushed.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsHighly adaptable to many soil types and grows in sun or shade, though it blooms more when grown in full sun. Native from Virginia to Florida.

CareGrow in full sun or part shade (in warmer climates) and moist, fertile, organically rich soil.

PropagationRoot softwood cuttings in summer or remove suckers in spring.

ProblemsFungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, and dieback.

  • Genus : Calycanthus
  • Zones : 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Fragrant Foliage, Interesting Bark
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Growth Rate : Moderate
  • Flower Color : Red
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Bloom Time : Spring, Summer
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
View Comments


  1. franklinowen 05/04/2017

    The mountain old timers call this a "Sweet Bubby". I was told that the ladies would crush the flowers up and stuff them in their bras when heading to church in the summer. This was before air conditioned churches, and was done in a effort to keep the smell of sweat at a minimum. Babies were taught to call their mother's breast "bubbies" as they nursed, as this sounds sweeter than boob or tit (though my babies called them "nannies"). Hence, the designation of sweet bubby.

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