What makes it a perfect plant?
It's easy peasy to grow. Spicebush's ideal habitat is a moist woodland with fertile, leaf covered soil in partial shade. You're more likely to see Spicebush growing in wooded bottom lands, low swamps, and also along streams in Eastern North America. But, don't let all the talk of moisture scare you off! Plant it in dappled shade, in good fertile soil that isn't xeric, mulch with leaf mold and it will flourish. Well established trees adjust to periods of drought in my garden just fine.
|Spicebush near the Radnor Lake Visitor center|
|You can't beat those bright yellow leaves|
It has great wildlife value. The flowers are cross-pollinated by small bees, wasps, beetles and flies.
|Early spring bloom draws a host of pollinator visitors|
|sexing the flowers~don't google that or you'll be in trouble!|
To continue shining the light on it's wildlife value, Lindera benzoin is the host plant for Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly. I love when she stops by the garden! I love all the butterflies that visit, but this one is striking. It has a black body dotted with white and shiny blue or green wings, with blue between two rows of orange spots on the underside of the hind wings and the colors on the upper side of the hind wings have one row of white spots.
Happy Wildflower Wednesday.
Common Name: spicebush
Deciduous shrub in the Laurel family
Native Range: Eastern United States (including Texas)
Zone: 4 to 9
Size: 6.00 to 12.00 feet tall by 6.00 to 12.00 feet wide (so far much smaller in my garden)
Blooms in March in Middle Tennessee
Flowers are a greenish yellow and the golden yellow fall coloring is outstanding
Will grow in full sun to part shade. I think it's happiest in dappled sun unless the soil is always moist.
Can tolerate deer, drought, heavy shade, clay soil~In other words it's happy at Clay and Limestone!
Thank you for stopping by and welcome to Clay and Limestone's Wildflower Wednesday celebration. WW is about sharing and celebrating wildflowers from all over this great big, beautiful world. Join us on the fourth Wednesday of each month. Remember, it doesn't matter if they are in bloom or not; and, it doesn't matter if we all share the same plants. It's all about celebrating wildflowers. Please leave a comment when you add your url to Mr Linky.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.