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Carolina allspice, also known as Calycanthus floridus, is a deciduous shrub native to the southeastern United States. It is also commonly referred to as sweetshrub, strawberry bush, or simply calycanthus. 

 

The leaves of Carolina allspice are dark green, simple, and opposite, with a leathery texture.

 

One of the most distinctive features of Carolina allspice is its unusual, aromatic flowers. The flowers are typically maroon to reddish-brown in color, although there are cultivars with lighter shades. They are quite unique in appearance, resembling a small, upside-down, reddish-brown water lily. The fragrance is often described as fruity and spicy, reminiscent of strawberries and bananas.

 

After flowering, Carolina allspice produces brown, urn-shaped fruits, which contain seeds.

 

It is a moderately-sized shrub, usually growing to a height of about 6 to 9 feet (1.8 to 2.7 meters) with a similar spread.

 

Carolina allspice is popular in gardens and landscapes for its fragrant flowers and attractive appearance. It is often used as a specimen plant, in shrub borders, or in woodland gardens.

The fragrant flowers are a notable feature and make Carolina allspice a favorite among gardeners. The scent is often compared to a mixture of fruits and spices, leading to the common name "allspice."

 

The plant attracts butterflies and other pollinators.

 

Carolina allspice prefers well-draining soil and can tolerate both full sun and partial shade. It is relatively low-maintenance and can withstand a range of soil types

 

Native American tribes, such as the Cherokee, used Carolina allspice for medicinal purposes and for making fragrances.

Please note that while Carolina allspice has historical uses, it is essential to consult with local horticulturists or experts before using any plant for medicinal purposes, as some plants can be toxic or cause adverse reactions if not used properly.

 

The seeds require a period of cold to break dormancy. Seeds should be soaked in water for 24 hours and then either planted in fall or cold stratified in your refrigerator for 60-90 days. For cold stratifications, soak the seeds and then fold them into a moist paper towel and place in a sealed ziploc bag and put them in your refrigerator for 60-90 days and then sow as normal.

 

Perennial zones 5-9, some say 10

 

This is for 10 seeds - even the seeds smell good! 

 

 

 

Photo 3 credit Paul Debois, ®BBC Magazine

Carolina Allspice, Sweetshrub, Strawberry Bush, Calycanthus Floridus, CY4010R

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