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Carolina Allspice

May 1, 2017


 Could you please identify the following shrub?   I have enclosed a sample.  It blooms with dark red flowers that are almost brown.  They really smell good.  The shrub is fairly large and growing in partial shade.  Without the blooms, the shrub is nothing special, but the flowers last a long time and are really interesting.  I have some friends who would like to buy one but we don’t know what to ask for


AnswerThe plant in question is a Calycanthus floridus, commonly called sweet shrub or Carolina allspice.  It is a wonderful native plant.  It grows quickly in partial shade with relatively little care.  The flowers remind me of the carved wooden flowers, with reddish brown blooms.  They also root readily from cuttings.  There are several new varieties that have showier blooms including ‘Aphrodite’ and ‘Venus’.  A hybrid ‘Hartlage Wine' also has large showy blooms.


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