The genus Calycanthus is comprised of a few species of deciduous shrubs grown for their fragrant, usually red or brown flowers that look like waterlilies or magnolia flowers. They are native to woodlands and streambanks of the U.S. The foliage smells like cloves when crushed and sometimes turns yellow in the fall. Use Calycanthus in a border or as a specimen.
Noteworthy CharacteristicsFlowers look like waterlilies. Aromatic foliage. U.S. natives.
CareSite in full sun and fertile, moist, humusy soil. In warm areas, plant in part shade. Prune when buds begin to swell in early spring by cutting back to a low permanent framework.
PropagationPropagate from softwood cuttings in summer, by layering in fall, or from suckers in spring. Or, sow seed as soon as they ripen or in fall in an open frame.
ProblemsFungal leaf spots, powdery mildew, dieback.