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Lindera benzoin

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
lin-DER-ah BEN-zo-een
Description

Lindera benzoin, commonly called spicebush, is a native deciduous shrub with a broad, rounded habit which typically grows 6-12' (less frequently to 15') high in moist locations in bottomlands, woods, ravines, valleys and along streams.  It is a drought tolerant shrub that has leaves and twigs with a spicy fragrance.  It will tolearate wet planting sites.  Its bark is brown to gray/brown and speckled with light colored lenticels.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Regions:  Mountain, Piedmont, Coastal Plains

Seasons of Interest:

     Foliage: Fall, yellow Bloom: Late summer  Fruit: Fall

Wildlife Value: This plant has low resistance to damage from deer.  It is a host plant for the spice bush swallowtail butterfly as well as a larval food for tiger swallowtail butterfly.  Its fruits are eaten by songbirds, especially during fall migration.  White tailed deer browse the twigs and leaves.

Play Value: Wildlife Enhancement 

Notes: Dioecious, so need a male and a female plant. 

Seed: Drupe

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Rubra'
  • 'Xanthocarpa'
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#deciduous#birds#small tree#songbirds#rain garden#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#showy#winter interest#host plant#fall interest#hedge#playground#host#fragrant foliage#wet sites#low flammability#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#larval host plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Rubra'
  • 'Xanthocarpa'
Tags:
#fragrant#butterflies#deciduous#birds#small tree#songbirds#rain garden#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#showy#winter interest#host plant#fall interest#hedge#playground#host#fragrant foliage#wet sites#low flammability#children's garden#fire resistant#edible fruits#larval host plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Lindera
    Species:
    benzoin
    Family:
    Lauraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Edible fruit
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Wildlife Nesting
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Soil Drainage:
    Moist
    Occasionally Dry
    Occasionally Wet
    Very Dry
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Edible
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Description:
    A drupe
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Description:
    Has a spicy fragrance
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Light Gray
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    Yes
    Stem Lenticels:
    Conspicuous
    Stem Description:
    Has a spicy fragrance
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Edible Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Rain Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Attracts:
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Fire
    Wet Soil