- Minimum Purchase:
- 5 units
- Latin Name- Calycanthus Floridus Hardy Planting Zone- 4-9 Mature Height- 6-10', Width- 2-3' Sun or Shade- Full Sun OR Partial Shade
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Sweet Shrub — Calycanthus floridus
Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus Floridus)
This flower is well known for the fruity aroma it gives; the smell resembles that of strawberry or pineapple. The soil must be kept moist, and sunlight should be given no less than 8 hours a day. These plants grow about 10 ft and have a width of about 12 ft. Leaves are oval with a light color underneath and is fuzzy.
The sweet shrub can tolerate clay soils, but it does best in fertile loam. The opposite leaves grow to 6 inches long and 3 inches wide and are dark green on top and pale green and fuzzy underneath. In the autumn they turn a bright golden yellow. When they’re crushed, they give off a pleasant fragrance, which is why many gardeners like to plant the sweet shrub around entrances and outdoor living areas like patios.
The plant is famous for its unusual flowers. For one thing, they are brown or the brownish red of port wine. They resemble magnolia flowers, are profuse and have a smell that many people describe as a combination of strawberries, pineapples, and bananas. Some people say the flowers even smell like bubblegum. They appear at the ends of the branches from April to July, and the shrub should be pruned right after the flowers fade to help it keep its compact shape. Left to themselves, the flowers turn into urn-shaped seed capsules that become mature in autumn and persist on the plant through the winter.
The unusual flowers last a long time on the shrub and can be cut for arrangements. They can also be dried and added to potpourri. In fact, every part the sweet shrub is fragrant and can be added to a mixture, including the twigs. The bark was once used as a substitute for cinnamon, and another name for the shrub is the Carolina allspice.