Lindera benzoin

Botanical Name: Lindera benzoin

Common Name:

Plant Hardiness: Zone 4

Flower: Small greenish flowers on both male and female plants

Bloom Time: Early April

Foliage: Light green leaves will turn a nice yellow in the fall

Fruit: A very showy red fruit is rarely found because the birds tend to eat them before the leaves have fallen

Habit: A generally rounded shrub growing more densely in full sun and more open in deep shade

Size: 6 to 12 feet tall

Sun Exposure: Full sun to part shade and will even tolerate full shade

Native Habitat: Eastern North America

Other Features: The best growth is in moist soils. Found in many New England wetlands. The common name comes from the scent released from crushed leaves and stems

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Description: “The Spicebush is in bloom!” When I hear those words or speak them myself in early April, I know that spring is really here. The flowers, little yellow-green dots, make quite a show on a sunny day in wet boggy areas of the woods. This is another bog plant which we are introducing for wild gardens. It tolerates shade and likes wet feet. Spicebush is a shrub that can grow as much as 6 to 12 feet high but could be kept much smaller with judicious pruning. It is a rather open shrub, and pruning would probably help make it a more acceptable plant. It has good fall color, yellow, and also red berries which don’t tend to show up too much but are there until the birds get them. Spicebush planted in full sun have far more berries than those in full shade. I’ve seen a few that were spectacular – they are definitely the exception. All parts of the plant are aromatic when crushed – hence its name. But the real joy of this plant is the fact that it blooms at a time when we want something to tell us spring is really here.