allspice  Carolina Calycanthus floridusThe reddish-brown flowers of this deciduous bush are loaded with a spicy fragrance that will fill the air with their pleasant aroma when they open in late spring. A native of the woodlands of southeastern United States, Carolina allspice is a great choice for a location near outdoor living areas, open windows, or screened porches where its distinctive fruity scent can be enjoyed, especially in the evening. In summer the lustrous 2-8 inch long leaves are dark green but change to yellow in the fall. They have a camphor or clove-like scent when crushed. The plants are bushy and spreading and easily naturalize by suckering to form colonies. Carolina allspice is welcome addition to a fragrance garden but is attractive as a specimen or in shrub borders . Individual plants vary in the intensity of their fragrance so buy a plant when in bloom so you can be sure of the scent.

Type: Deciduous flowering shrub

Outstanding Feature: Fragrant flowers in spring

Form: Upright, spreading, rounded; frequently wider than tall

Growth Rate: Slow

Bloom: Reddish-brown very fragrant flowers 2” across in spring.

Size: 4-7’ H x 4-7’ W

Light: Full sun to partial shade but denser and shorter in full sun

Soil: Fertile, moist, well-drained, pH adaptable

Hardiness: Zones 5-9

Care: Prune after flowering; may need to be rejuvenated by severe cut-back

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seed; cuttings

Outstanding Selections:

    ‘Athens’ ( greenish yellow flowers)
    ‘Michael Lindsey’ (Dense and compact; good golden yellow fall color).

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By Karen