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Sweet Shrub
Calycanthus floridus

This deciduous shrub has the strangest loveliest flowers, which are quite fragrant and bloom here in central Virginia in the mid-late spring. Crushing the leaves also gives a spicy scent, hence the alternative name “Carolina Allspice.” This is a really cool shrub that can tolerate shade and sun, however the shape of the plant changes depending on light conditions. In the fall the leaves turn yellow

Alternate Names: Eastern Sweetshrub, Carolina Allspice
Family: Calycanthaceae – Strawberry-shrub family 
Habitat: Well drained soil, sun or shade
Identifiers: Blooming Early May 

Description: From the Wildflower Database

Eastern sweetshrub is a 6-12 ft., deciduous shrub with glossy, aromatic, leathery, dark-green foliage. Its with erect, multiple stems create a rounded outline. Terminal blossoms are solitary and dark red with numerous overlapping, strap-like petals. Flower are often quite fragrant. Leaves become yellow in fall but are usually not showy.

Calycanthus floridus is very resistant to disease and insect problems. It has a prolific suckering habit, adapts to many soils, and grows taller in shaded places.

All text and photos copyright © 2022 Middle Way Nature Reserve, unless noted.
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