This adaptable large shrub has bright fall color and is one of the earliest spring flowering shrubs! Its delicate yellow flowers are an important food source for early emerging pollinators, and its fall drupes are welcome food for migrating birds. A host plant for spicebush swallowtail butterflies and promethea silkmoths!
Plants can be male, female, or both (dioecious). All plants flower, but only female and dioecious plants will set fruit. Our plants are too young to be sexed.
Light: Full Sun, Part Sun/Shade, Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet, Wet Mesic, Mesic
Soil Type: Loam, Humus, Sandy Loam
Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: March
Fruit: Red drupes (berries) mature in fall.
Fall Color: Yellow
Root Type: Branching
Notable Wildlife Interactions: Flowers attract mainly small bees and flies. Hosts the spicebush swallowtail butterfly, moths such as the promethea and tulip tree beauty. Drupes are eaten by birds such as thrushes, viro, and bobwhite. Generally not browsed by deer.
Notes: Crushed stems and leaves have a distinct spicy smell. Various parts of the plant were historically used for spices and teas. Drupes are high in fat, so are particularly important to migrating birds.