Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) is a shrub that is part of the laurel family. It is native to North America. It is found naturally along streams and heavily wooded areas. The male shrubs have small yellow flowers that bloom in spring. These flowers have a sweet scent to them. The female shrubs grow berries that are half an inch in diameter, in the fall. These berries change colors from yellow to green and finally to red. The leaves on the female shrub also change to yellow in the fall. For the berries to grow, a male and female Spicebush must be grown as females require pollination. These berries provide various bird species with a food source. Both the berries and the flowers can be used by humans in tea or as a spice. The USDA hardy zone for the Spicebush ranges from a 4 to a 9. The Spicebush doesn't require much sunlight and can grow in the shade well, but it will also grow in full sunlight as well. When the Spicebush is grown in full sunlight, it produces more flowers and berries. Planting the Spicebush in a pot and transferring it is not recommended because of the number of roots that grow. The height of a mature Spicebush averages between 6 and 12 feet high and 6 to 12 feet wide but is commonly more wide than tall. The growth rate on average of the shrub is 1 foot per year. The soil required to grow a Spicebush is well-drained but moist, sandy loam soil but it can tolerate clay soil. While daily watering is ideal, the Spicebush can tolerate drought conditions. The Spicebush isn't known to have any diseases or insect problems. Although butterflies and moths feed off the Spicebush, it causes no real problems for the shrub.