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Spicebush

Category:

An uncommon shrub with many ornamental qualities; radiant yellow flowers in early spring before the leaves followed by showy red berries in fall, beautiful gold fall color and fragrant foliage; a shapely garden shrub, blends nicely into natural settings

Characteristics

Species:
benzoin
Average Landscape Height:
10 feet
Average Landscape Width:
10 feet
Genus:
Lindera
Branching:
multi-stemmed
Plant Form:
round
Canopy:
low
Growth Rate:
slow
Pruning:
prune after flowering
Flower Color:
lemon
Flower Period:
in early spring
Summer Foliage Color:
light green
Fall Color:
gold
Maximum Light:
full sun
Minimum Light:
shade
Maximum Moisture:
moist
Minimum Moisture:
average
Pollution Tolerance:
medium

Ornamental Features

Spicebush features delicate lemon yellow flowers along the branches in early spring before the leaves. It has light green deciduous foliage. The pointy leaves turn an outstanding gold in the fall. It produces red berries from early to late fall. The smooth olive green bark adds an interesting dimension to the landscape.

Landscape Attributes

Spicebush is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub with a more or less rounded form. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.

Planting & Growing

Spicebush will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It has a low canopy with a typical clearance of 2 feet from the ground, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 40 years or more.

This shrub performs well in both full sun and full shade. It prefers to grow in average to moist conditions, and shouldn't be allowed to dry out. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution. Consider applying a thick mulch around the root zone in winter to protect it in exposed locations or colder microclimates. This species is native to parts of North America.

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