Calycanthus floridulus
Calycanthus floridulus

Carolina Sweetshrub, Carolina Allspice

Calycanthus floridus, commonly called Carolina allspice, is a dense, rounded deciduous shrub with attractive shiny green leaves.  It features very fragrant, brown to reddish-brown flowers (5 cms across) which bloom at the ends of short branchlets in May. Flowers give way to brownish, urn-shaped fruits (seed capsules) which mature in fall and persist throughout the winter.  Leaves are aromatic when bruised when turn yellow in the fall. Our stand of this plant has been in the garden for 20 plus years and always attracts attention in bloom.

  • Height: 1.8-2.4 m (6-8 ft)
  • Spread: 1.8-2.4 m (6-8 ft)
  • Hardiness: Zone 4-8
  • Sun or Shade: sun to part shade
  • Bloom Time: late spring
  • Leaf Colour: deep green
  • Bloom Colour: brown

Growing and Maintenance Tips

Calycanthus is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It grows somewhat taller in shade than in sun. It is tolerant of a wide range of soils, including clay, but prefers rich loams. Prune immediately after flowering to shape or maintain compactness. Tends to sucker and often forms colonies in the wild. Remove root suckers promptly if naturalization is not desired.