Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Sweet Shrub


This native shrub (Calycanthus floridus) can grow 6 to 9 feet tall. It grows in almost any soil in sun to part shade in zones 4 to 9. The flowers are reddish brown. It is a deciduous shrub and the leaves turn yellow in fall.

Mine grows in part shade. I will cut it back when it’s done blooming to keep in within bounds. It sends out runners which need to be pulled out or dug out from time to time. I’ve given a few to friends (with this warning).

There are some comments about sweet shrub on Dave’s Garden. . Escambiaguy from Atmore, AL submitted: “My great grandmother . . . would wrap the blooms in a handkerchief and take them to church with her. She would smell them while sitting in church.” And “The only negative comment about the plant is that it spreads like crazy. I have to constantly prune the suckers. If left alone, you will have a yard full of sweet shrub.”

But, the best thing about this bush is the aroma it gives off in spring. It is blooming right now in my garden and fills the yard with its sweet smell. The blooms will last for weeks.


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