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The Plant Guide

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Spicebush

Lindera benzoin

lin-DARE-ah BEN-zo-in Audio

This dioecious shrub has much to offer the garden. Male plants have showier, tiny, pale yellow flowers in early spring, but the female counterparts take center stage in early fall, when they're laden with half-inch-diameter berries that turn from green to yellow to high-gloss crimson. About the same time, the leaves turn a hypnotic soft yellow and make the red berries visually pop. Spicebush becomes a large, 5- to 8-foot-tall shrub that is slightly wider than tall. It is the preferred food for the black and blue spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae.

Noteworthy CharacteristicsAromatic foliage, showy fruit, good autumn color. Host plant for swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

CareGrow in partial sun to light shade and wet to moderately dry soil. Plant a male and a female plant for berries.

ProblemsInfrequent.

  • Genus : Lindera
  • Zones : 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
  • Plant Height : 6 to 10 feet
  • Plant Width : 6 to 10 feet
  • Bloom Time : Early Spring
  • Characteristics : Fragrant Flowers, Fragrant Foliage, Showy Fall Foliage
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Maintenance : Low
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Uses : Shade
  • Plant Type : Shrubs
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Spring Interest
  • Flower Color : Yellow
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