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Lindera benzoin

northern spicebush add to wishlist

Plant types and subtypes: Trees & Shrubs, Shrubs, Deciduous

Light Requirements: sun, part-sun, part-shade

Water Use: medium

Soil Moisture: dry, moist, wet

Soil Description: rich, average, loam, sand

Height: 6'-12'

Bloom Time: March, April

Bloom Color: yellow

Leaf Color: green

Hardiness Zone: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9

Additional Tags: attracts birds, attracts butterflies, berries, edible, fall interest, fragrant flowers, fragrant plant, hedging plant, medicinal, naturalizing, pond margin plant, shade garden plant, showy fruit, stream margin plant, woodland plant

Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)
  • Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)
  • Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)
  • Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)
  • Lindera benzoin (northern spicebush)

Pricing & Availability

Description

Lindera benzoin

Also known as:

northern spicebush

,

spicebush

,

Benjaminbush

,

Benjamin bush

Scientific Synonyms:

Description

Northern spicebush is an attractive, deciduous member of the Laurel family. It has a compact, rounded form and seldom grows taller than 12 feet. In early spring, before the emergence of foliage, the bare stems produce clusters of small, yellow fragrant flowers. In summer, the shrub will produce attractive, glossy, red, fragrant berries that become a food source for a variety of birds. The thick, green leaves are aromatic when crushed and turn attractive shades of yellow in fall.

Cultivation

An understory shrub, Lindera benzoin is typically found in lowlands, in rich soil that is consistently moist. It will however tolerate wet or dry soil. A sunny placement will produce a denser, more compact form, as well as better blooms and fall color. It reproduces by root suckers forming dense colonies. It may be used as a hedging plant. Blooms early spring: March, April. Zones 5-9

Propagation

Propagate by digging up root suckers in early spring or late fall when the plant is dormant. Dried seed lose viability. Freshly collected seeds should be stripped of pulp and sown immediately.

Additional Notes

All parts of the plant are aromatic. The dried fruit may be used for pot-pourri or powdered to use a a spice. The leaves and twigs may be brewed as a tea. It has been used to produce anti-arthritic and emetic drugs. Northern spice bush has been dubbed "forsythia of the wilds" because of their similarity in bloom habit.

Native Range & Classification

Recorded County Distribution: USDA data

Native Range:
AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, TN, VA, WV

USDA Endangered Status:

  • Special Concern: ME

Classification

Kingdom Plantae Plants
Subkingdom Tracheobionta Vascular plants
Superdivision Spermatophyta Seed plants
Division Magnoliophyta Flowering plants
Class Magnoliopsida Dicotyledons
Subclass Magnoliidae
Order Laurales
Family Lauraceae Laurel family
Genus Lindera spicebush
Species Lindera benzoin northern spicebush