A rounded shrub native to eastern North America, named for the spicy odor emitted by the leaves when crushed. Tiny yellow flowers appear close to the branches in spring, before the leaves emerge. The red fruit matures in fall. The species is dioecious: male and female flowers appear on separate plants. I believe mine is female, which means smaller flowers. And unless there's a stud spicebush around, I'm unlikely to see those berries. The birds will be sad too – they are a favorite treat for some of them. On the other hand, the spicebush swallowtail butterfly larvae are probably fine either way.
Mainly used in naturalistic plantings, spicebush is not commonly planted in ornamental gardens.
We left this plant behind in our Pennsylvania garden (and wish it well); we don't grow it in Houston.
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May 23, 2015