This time of year they are in their glory, a wonderful chartreuse haze that brightens the woodland understory.
Genus: Lindera Species: benzoin Common Name: Spicebush
Area of Origin: Maine to Ontario and Kansas, sought to Florida and Texas
Characteristics: Alternate, simple, oblong-obovate leaves, 3" - 5" wide, light green above, pale underneath. The flowers are dioecious, yellow and tiny, appearing late March to early April before the leaves. Not overwhelming to look at but fabulous en masse. The fruit is an oval drupe, about 1/2" long and scarlet but is seldom seen since it is showy only after the leaves have fallen. The shrub grows 6' - 12' tall with a similar spread, although the national champion in the Jefferson National Forest in VA is 20' x 20'. It's a rounded shrub in outline, rather loose and open in the wilderness of our woods, supposedly full and dense in full sun. The leaves turn a wonderful golden yellow in the fall.
Hardiness: USDA Zones 4 to 9
Cultivation needs: Best in moist, well-drained soils, full sun or shade, can cope with dry soil.
Typical Pests, Diseases, associated problems: None to speak of.
Propagation Method: Seed needs to be stratified, cuttings will root but percentages not high.