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Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume

Spicebush, northern spicebush

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassMagnoliidaeIncludes magnolias, nutmeg, bay laurel, cinnamon, avocado, black pepper, and many others
OrderLauralesTrees and shrubs, including bay laurels, cinnamon, avocado, sassafras and others
FamilyLauraceaeLaurel family, mostly tropical evergreens
GenusLinderaHonors Johann Linder (1676-1723), a Swedish botanist and physician.
SpeciesbenzoinFrom the Arabic vernacular word meaning aromatic gum.

About plant names...

Spicebush, named for the spicy odor its leaves produce when crushed, is a Florida native deciduous shrub. They prefer swamps, stream edges, and low riparian forests. They are now found through much of the eastern United States.

Plants: The rounded shrubs are usually 6-12' (1.8-3.7 m) in size, sometimes becoming a small tree, reaching up to 15' (4.6 m). Bark is thin, and brown or gray-brown.

Leaves: Thick, alternate, entire, obovate, with smooth edges. Leaves are light green and up to 7" (18 cm) × 2½" (7 cm).

Flowers: Dense clusters of yellow-green flowers emerge from branches before leaves appear in the spring. Each flower is ¼" (6.3 mm) around, with six yellow or greenish-yellow sepals. Flowers are dioecious—some plants have male flowers and others have female.

Fruits: Female plants produce bright red oblong drupes up to ½" (1.3 cm) long.

Online References:

Lindera benzoin at the Missouri Botanical Garden

Lindera benzoin on gobotany.nativeplanttrust.org

Lindera benzoin on npsnj.org (Great photos of male and female flowers)

Lindera benzoin at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences

Lindera benzoin on plants.ces.ncsu.edu

Lindera benzoin on floranorthamerica.org

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

9/13/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 7 × 4½" (16 × 11 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

4/23/2016 · Big Tree/Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, Mass­a­chu­setts

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

7/28/2017 · Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 5 × 3" (12 × 8.4 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

10/3/2010 · Dingmans Falls, Dingmans Ferry, Delaware Township, Pike County, Penn­syl­vania
≈ 9 × 6" (22 × 15 cm) ID is uncertain

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

8/30/2016 · Mass­a­chu­setts

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

7/28/2017 · Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 6 × 4" (14 × 10 cm)

 

Lindera benzoin description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 24 Aug 2021.

© FloraFinder.org. All rights reserved.


 

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

10/3/2010 · Dingmans Falls, Dingmans Ferry, Delaware Township, Pike County, Penn­syl­vania
≈ 21 × 14" (54 × 36 cm) ID is uncertain

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

9/13/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

9/13/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 8 × 6" (20 × 14 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

9/13/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 2½ × 2½" (6.2 × 6.1 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

9/13/2015 · Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 6 × 8" (14 × 20 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

7/28/2017 · Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 4½ × 4" (11 × 10 cm)

Lindera benzoin (spicebush, northern spicebush)

7/28/2017 · Porcupine Trail, Beaver Brook Conservation Area, Hollis, New Hamp­shire
≈ 4 × 6" (11 × 16 cm)

Range: Zones 4b-9a:

About this map...