Mature spice bushes bloom in March, before the leaves come in, producing clusters of dainty, fragrant yellow-green flowers. These tiny little delights cling closely to the tree’s twigs, giving the plant a delicate, almost Forsythia-like appearance. The flowers on female bushes are eventually replaced by bright red fruits (drupes) which attract birds looking for a snack. Lindera benzoin foliage is comprised of attractive light green leaves up to five inches long, which transform into a vibrant yellow as fall moves in. Adorable spicebush swallowtail butterfly caterpillars love to feed on the leaves of this shrub.
Spice bush live stakes grow at a fairly slow rate, gaining up to a foot or more per season in ideal growing conditions. Their mature size tops off between six and 12 feet tall, and equally as wide. The best planting zones for spice bush are USDA hardiness zones 4 to 9. This tree is versatile and tolerant, growing well in average, well-draining soil as well as clay. It may be planted in partial shade to full sun, however the autumn leaf color is most brilliant in a sunny location. Landscaping applications include borders, woodlands, shade gardens, and moist areas near ponds or creeks. Spice bush live stakes are taken from woody tree cuttings, making them extremely stable for shipping so that they arrive in excellent condition and ready for planting.