Spice bush is a large, multi-stemmed shrub that could be used to create a border. The twigs and leaves are aromatic and can be used to make a tea. The fruits can be dried and powdered to be used as a spice. Spice bush is an important plant for birds feeding on the fruits. It is also a host plant for the spicebush swallowtail whose larvae (caterpillars) mimic the appearance of Central American snakes.This is a dioecious plant, which means male and female flowers occur on separate plants (see the flower image above). The female plants will have bright red fruits beginning in September. Our plants are usually too young to bloom before they get sold, so we do not know which are male or female. They are fairly easy to transplant or grow from seed. To germinate, remove the seed from the fruit and sow right away; it should sprout the following spring.Uses: Shrub border, butterflies, shady areas, rain gardens, birds, edibleBloom time: Yellow flowers in February and March; fruits SeptemberHeight: 6 to 14 feetSpace: 5 to 10 feetMoisture: Average to moistSunlight: Light to full shade
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