Calycanthus floridus L. - Sweet Shrub, Spicebush

Calycanthus floridus plant

Family - Calycanthaceae

Stems:

Calycanthus floridus stem

Leaves:

Calycanthus floridus leaves

Inflorescence:

N/A

Flowers:

Calycanthus floridus flower

Flowering - March - June.

Habitat - Bluffs, floodplains, deciduous forests, stream banks, low woods, rich wooded slopes.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This popular species can be found mainly in eastern Alabama. This ia an easy species to identify when flowering becasue of its big, red flowers. The stems and leaves of the shrubs have a pleasing strawberry-like odor when crushed. The plant is certainly worthy of cultivation.
Two varieties occur in Alabama; variety glaucus, which has leaves that are glaucous beneath, and variety floridus, which has leaves that are pubescent beneath.
The genus name comes from the Greek "caly" meaning "the calyx" and "anthus" meaning "a flower" as the perianth parts on this species are undifferentiated. The species epithet "floridus is from the Latin "florid" meaning "flowery".

Alabama Distribution:

Calycanthus floridus map

Photographs taken in Linville, NC., 5-11-03, and in Auburn, AL., 4-16-05.


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