Image for Common Spicebush

Common Spicebush

Scientific name

Lindera benzoin


The Common Spicebush is a small (1-2m), deciduous, understory tree or large shrub known for its fragrant flowers and leaves. This species produces a broad, full crown originating from its multi-stemmed trunk. Leaves are bright green, simple, and arranged alternately along the branches. Foliage turns a bright yellow colour within the fall season. Leaves of this species emit a lemony spice smell during the summer. Flowers of the Common Spicebush bloom in March prior to leaf development, making it one of the first plant species to bloom in spring. These flowers are showy and yellow in colour, growing oppositely arranged in dense clusters. Due to the aroma that the flowers and leaves emit, the Common Spicebush is an ideal species to plant in butterfly gardens as it attracts numerous pollinators. This species provides essential habitat for Swallowtail, Silkmoth and Promethea moth larvae. The Common Spicebush produces fruit resembling a berry, which ripen and turn a scarlet red colour during the fall. These fruits provides a food source for many different bird species. The Common Spicebush is dioecious; thus there are female plants that must be pollinated by male plant. Male Spicebush plants produce larger flowers than female plants. The fibrous roots of Spicebush utilize fungi to exchange nutrients, making it an ideal plant for use in soil conservation and shoreline stabilization.

Planting conditions

spicebush thrives in moist-well draining soils. It tolerates both alkaline and acidic soils well.


  • Plant height:
    • Max 2m
    • Max 3m
    • Any
  • Moisture level:
    • Dry
    • Normal
    • Moist
    • Wet
    • Flood Tolerant
  • Light conditions:
    • Full sun
    • Partial sun
  • Soil type:
    • Sandy
    • Loamy
  • pH:
    • Normal
  • Depth:
    • Potted
    • Bareroot
  • Eco Zone:
    • 6a
    • 6b
    • 7a
    • 7b
  • Plant type:
    • Shrub
  • Height:
    • 1-2m