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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Carolina Allspice - Sweetshrub - Calycanthus floridus

Did I know that Carolina Allspice flowers smelled so good? I don't think so. I think it's only had something like 1/2 dozen flowers at a time before. But this year there are a lot more. I can't describe it -- fruity for sure, I was thinking berry-like and maybe strawberry ... Sweet with a sort of sour overripe/fermented fruit note. And look at the amazing color:
image.jpeg
HGIC 1087 Sweetshrub : Extension : Clemson University : South Carolina
https://www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/p ... c1087.html
Sweetshrub (Calycanthus floridus) has many common names, including Carolina allspice, strawberry-bush, sweet bubby, sweet Betsy and spicebush. As these names indicate, it is valued for the sweet, often fruity fragrance of its flowers.
Now that I think about it, I've stood near it saying "WHAT is that smell? WHERE is it coming from?" -- looking everywhere but within my own garden... :roll: and never realizing it was these unassuming flowers. :>
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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applestar
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Joined: Thu May 01, 2008 7:21 pm
Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Re: Carolina Allspice • Sweetshrub - Calycanthus floridus

I brought a flower sprig inside -- Got one DD to smell it and she said grape -- cantaloupe -- strawberry ... Mixture of all three. :D
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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pinksand
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Joined: Thu Aug 23, 2012 2:13 am
Location: Columbia, MD

Re: Carolina Allspice • Sweetshrub - Calycanthus floridus

oooo I've been wanting one of these babies for a while now! I'm hoping to plant it in place of a patch of Rose of Sharon. The RoS are in a spot where they provide privacy though so It's hard to commit to taking them down and having to wait a while for privacy again. The neighbors house also just sold, so I'll have to see who moves in ;)

You're definitely making me want to hack them down though so I can replace them with some Carolina Allspice and some other more interesting shrubs! I love how unusual and striking the blooms are against the bright green foliage and everything I've read mentions the fruity smell you've described. I've seen it listed as a "pineaple/strawberry" aroma.
USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32
"The earth laughs in flowers" -Ralph Waldo Emerson



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