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Sweetshrub | Plant Profile

Sweetshrub, or Carolina Allspice, (Calycanthus floridus) are deciduous shrubs with an irregular rounded shape and thick foliage. The shiny dark green leaves of summer become bright yellow in fall. The most notable feature of Sweetshrub are the intensely fragrant brown flowers that bloom in May. The fragrance can be similar to pineapple, strawberry, or banana.

Sweetshrub prefers fertile, medium moisture, well drain soils in full sun to part shade. They can tolerate clay or somewhat wet soils. Remove basal shoots if propagation is not desired.

It is recommended to plant these shrubs near structures or in area that the fragrance can be enjoyed. They can be located near entryways or create a border near outdoor patios. If propagation is desired, Sweetshrub does well in naturalized areas or pollinator gardens.


Sweetshrub Characteristics

Sweetshrub, or Carolina Allspice, are highly fragrant, large shrubs. While the flowers are notably fragrant, the foliage also gives off a sweet aroma when bruised. Though the fragrance of the flowers is appealing, do not eat the seed pods that are produced as they are mildly poisonous when consumed in large quantities.

Sweetshrub propagates by basal shoots, or root sprouts located at the base of the plant. If left unchecked, they will reach out and take root nearby. Because of this, Sweetshrub can colonize small areas. To prevent propagation, remove the basal shoots before they have a chance to root. Pruning is only required to maintain a tidy shape if desired.

Disease or pest issues are rarely a worry with Sweetshrub.

USDA Climate Zone
Zones 4 - 9
6.00 - 10.00'
6.00 - 12.00'
Bloom Time
April - July
Full Sun - Part Shade
Deer Resistant?