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Calycanthus floridus

Eastern Sweetshrub / Carolina Allspice

There is so much to love about this shrub. The burgundy, wine-red blossoms, leaves and twigs are all fragrant. The sweet aroma attracts numerous insects that in turn attract large numbers of birds. The dense branching habit provides nesting and cover for a wide variety of birds and other small animals. It is adaptable to a wide range of light and soil types. Try to plant it near your outdoor living space where you will be able to enjoy the fruity scent. This is a delightfully, easy to grow shrub that belongs in every garden.

Benefits

  • Unusual, wine-red flowers bloom in spring and early summer
  • Valued for the sweet, fruity fragrance of its flowers
  • The fragrance attracts numerous insects that in turn attract birds
  • Use dried flowers, leaves, and twigs to make potpourri
  • Lustrous, dark green foliage turns golden-yellow in autumn
  • Sweetshrubs have no serious insect or disease problems

Homeowner Growing and Maintenance Tips

Highly adaptable to many soil types but prefers moist soil in light shade. Maintenance is easy. If needed, prune branches after the plant flowers. No serious pest or disease problems.


Height
6-9 ft

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Spread
6-12 ft

USDA Hardiness Zone 5-9

Native Range

Found in wood openings and edges, stream banks and moist hillsides.

Native Trivia

There seems to be variation in the amount of fragrance the blossoms have from plant to plant. The fragrance is also believed to become stronger as the shrub matures.  If possible smell the flowers before purchasing.

Good Companions
Shadblow (Amelanchier canadensis), Pinxterbloom Azalea (Rhododendron periclymenoides), Squirt Compact Leucothoe (Leucothoe axillaris), Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida), Wild Spotted Geranium (Geranium maculatum), Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides)

Characteristics & Attributes

Beneficial insects
Songbirds
Deer Resistant
Fall Color
Plan Sub Group
Medium to Tall Shrubs
Exposure
Filtered Shade
Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
Soil
Acidic
Well-drained
Wide soil tolerance
Soil Moisture Preference
Average
Moist
Moist but well-drained
Attracts Wildlife
Mammals
Bloom Time
Late Spring / Early Summer
Summer
Habitat Collection
Songbird
Native Habitat
Coastal
Forest
Riparian, wetland
Foliage Color
Dark Green
Uses
Accent
Border
Cut or dried flower
Fragrant
Hedge, screen
Mass plant
Meadow
Naturalizes
Specimen
Native to
Alabama
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia
Florida
Georgia
Illinois
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maryland
Massachusetts
Mississippi
New York
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Virginia
West Virginia