SPICEBUSH (Lindera benzoin)


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Northern spicebush is a single- or few-stemmed, deciduous shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, with glossy leaves and graceful, slender, light green branches. Dense clusters of tiny, pale yellow flowers bloom before the leaves from globose buds along the twigs. Flowers occur in umbel-like clusters and are followed by glossy red fruit. Both the fruit and foliage are aromatic. Leaves turn a colorful golden-yellow in fall.

In the North this plant is thought of as the “forsythia of the wilds” because its early spring flowering gives a subtle yellow tinge to many lowland woods where it is common. A tea can be made from the aromatic leaves and twigs.

The fruits of spicebush attract many birds (vireos, tanagers, robins, thrushes) and its flowers attract native bees and pollinators. Lindera is a host plant for the spicebush swallowtail butterfly. whose larvae feed on it and other members of the Lauracaea family, which includes another local native, sassafras tree (Sassafras albidum).

Hardiness Zone: 4 to 9

Bare Root Size: 18″