Conspicuous during the spring when the flowers bloom, spicebush is one of the first shrubs to bloom in wooded areas. During the summer, it fades into the background and becomes rather ordinary-looking; however, it can be readily identified by the spicy aroma of its crushed leaves and branchlets. During the fall, Spicebush becomes attractive once again when its leaves turn yellow and its fruit becomes red. This woody shrub is about 5-15' tall and much branched. Bark is brown, and shiny. Fleshy, long berries have a single stone.
The flowers are cross-pollinated by various insects, particularly small bees and various flies. Host plant for caterpillars of Papilio troilus (Spicebush Swallowtail), Callosamia promethea (Promethea Moth), and Epimecis hortaria (Tulip Tree Beauty). The fruits are eaten occasionally by some woodland songbirds, which help to distribute seeds.
Male & female shrubs both produce flowers. Our plants are unsexed, so get a couple.
Soil Type: loamy with organic matter
Soil Conditions: Wet Mesic - Mesic
Flower Color: Yellow
Light: Prefers Sun-shade. In full shade, it becomes more open and wide-spreading.
Credits: Info & Photos courtesy of Illinoiswildflowers.info