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Spice Bush
Calycanthus occidentalis
  
About Spice Bush (Calycanthus occidentalis) 37 Nurseries Carry This Plant Spice Bush (Calycanthus occidentalis) is a native shrub that grows in canyons, streamsides and moist places, at elevations from 0 - 5000 feet in the California Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley, Sierra Nevada and Cascade ranges. Also found in Washington state, localized in the Seattle area

It is a deciduous shrub growing 1-4 metres (3.3 - 13.1 ft) tall and wide. The bright green leaves are opposite, 5 - 15 centimetres (2.0 - 5.9 in) long and 2-6 centimetres (0.79 - 2.36 in) broad. The bark has a strong camphor smell that is released when stems are scraped. The smell remains strong on twigs that have been stored several years in a dry environment. The strongly scented flowers are produced from late spring through early autumn. They are 4 - 7 centimetres (1.6 - 2.8 in) broad, with numerous dark red to burgundy to purplish brown tepals. Typical of the Calycanthaceae family, the flowers lack distinct sepals and petals, but instead have distinct spirals of tepals. The lotus-shaped flowers can resemble a small magnolia flower. They are pollinated by beetles in the Nitidulidae family. The fruit is an elliptic dry capsule 5 - 7 cm long, containing numerous seeds.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Shrub

Size
Size
3 - 13.1 ft tall
3 - 12 ft wide

Form
Form
Rounded

Dormancy
Dormancy
Winter Deciduous

Fragrance
Fragrance
Fragrant - Pleasant

Flower Color
Flower Color
Red, Purple, Brown

Flowering Season
Flowering Season
Spring, Summer

Wildlife Supported
 
Sap beetles

 
Butterflies & moths hosted ( 1 likely * ) SHOW ALL

Landscaping Information
Sun
Sun
Part Shade, Full Sun

Moisture
Moisture
Low, Moderate - High

Summer Irrigation
Summer Irrigation
Max 1x / week once established

Nurseries
Nurseries

Ease of Care
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Cold Tolerance
Cold Tolerance
Tolerates cold to 0 - 10° F

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage
Slow

Soil Description
Soil Description
Tolerates a white variety of soils. Soil PH: 5 - 8

Common uses
Common uses
Hedges, Deer Resistant, Butterfly Gardens

Propagation
Propagation?
For propagating by seed: 3 mos. stratification.

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, 6*, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Moist places, canyons, streamsides

Climate
Climate
Annual Precipitation: 8.3" - 85.5", Summer Precipitation: 0.18" - 2.08", Coldest Month: 24.0" - 50.6", Hottest Month: 45.3" - 78.0", Humidity: 0.21" - 26.55", Elevation: 7" - 11310"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Spicebush, Sweet-shrub, Western Sweetshrub


Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora


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