• Calycanthus floridus - Carolina Allspice


    "Carolina allspice, is an erect to rounded deciduous native shrub in the Calycanthaceae family.  It is found in the south east growing in shady woodlands and along streambanks.  It grows 6-12' tall with an equal or slightly greater spread.  It is commonly called sweetshrub and strawberry bush in reference to the showy fragrant blooms which have been described as combining hints of pineapple, strawberry, and banana. The aroma is stronger in higher temperatures and it is best to purchase the plant in flower as the fragrances do vary so widely.  The scientific name derives from the Greek words kaylx which means calyx and anthos which means flowers." (North Carolina Extension)


    "Sweetshrub grows best in average to rich, well-drained soil in anywhere from full sun to deep shade. It prefers some shade in hot summer afternoons and it will grow lankier and less dense in shade than in sun. It is tolerant of a wide range of soil textures and pH but prefers rich loams.  Plant it 3 to 5 feet from other shrubs to give it adequate room to grow.  It blooms in early spring before leaves emerge, with the leaves, and sporadically thereafter.  

    "Prune immediately after flowering to shape or maintain compactness.  It has a suckering habit meaning those suckering branches need to be maintained unless you want this plant to naturalize in your landscape.  Prune the plant to shape immediately after flowering as the flowers are produced on last year's wood.  Propagate this plant by seed.

    "It can tolerate brief periods of flooding, but it struggles in sandy soil and drought conditions.  It withstands cold and heat, insect and disease pests, fire, and deer browsing. Plant it as a specimen or near a patio or walkway to enjoy its fragrance.  Its form makes for a good screen or privacy hedge or plant it in the back of a shrub border or in a foundation planting.  Consider this native in your cutting, sensory, or woodland garden." (North Carolina Extension)


    1. "Sweet Shrub - Calycanthus floridus, Jones Preserve, Rappahannock County, Virginia" by Judy Gallagher is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0
    2. "Flower and Leaves (Corneille Bryan, NC)" by Marcia Boyle is licensed under CC BY 4.0

    North Carolina Extension plant description and cultivation:   Calycanthus Floridus (Bubby Bush, Carolina Allspice, Common Sweetshrub, Spicebush, Sweet Betsy, Sweet Bubby Bush, Sweetshrub, Sweet Shrub) | North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox. https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/calycanthus-floridus/. Accessed 9 Feb. 2022.

    Botanical Illustration:

    "The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, 1754 Garrulus Carolinensis - The Chatterer" By Original: Mark Catesby, 1683-1749 Derived: Peter coxhead - This file was derived from: The natural history of Carolina, Florida, and the Bahama Islands, 1754 Garrulus Carolinensis - The Chatterer (19117862074).jpg:Background colour was a bit too blue; adjusted to be more neutral., CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=99753341

    Information and images compiled by Erik N.Vegeto

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