Spice bush

Vital statistics

 10' tall and may be wider than tall, shrubby but may be pruned to one or a few trunks to make a graceful small tree.

Grow in shade or sun. Best with steady moisture. Tolerant of wet soil.

All parts fragrant. Small gray fruits aromatic and useful as a flavoring in cooking.

North American  native Lindera benzoi is hardy to zone 4 ( zone 3 in protected places. Asian species L. anugstifolia and L. glauca are hardy to zone 5 and perhaps to zone 4 -- they are new enough in the trade that only time and helpful gardeners reporting on the shrubs' performance will tell on that point.


Spring color
Fall color

Spring color

 Spicebushes (Lindera species) bloom yellow in early spring. In a natural setting in a wooded area a copse of spicebush may appear as a haze of pale yellow. When the shrubs are grown in sun, they are thickly clad in more intensely-colored bloom.

Fall color

Spice bush (Lindera species)

Below: Common spice bush, native to shady moist woods in eastern North America, Lindera benzoin.


Below: A spicebush native to northeast Asis, Chinese spicebush, Lindera angustifolia. The leaves blaze orange in late fall, persist parchment color through winter, and drop in spring as new leaves emerge.