I never knew the shrub well enough to recognize it but my Dad would point it out when we were in the woods. As I recall, it was a woody deciduous shrub with glossy lance shaped leaves like the Australian lemon myrtle and the leaves smelled like lemon verbena. The plants I saw were no more than about three feet tall. I have tried to grow verbena but even the roots don't survive a good winter. I saw a TV show about Iowa native plants where a man mentioned a shrub with lemon scented leaves but I didn't catch the name.rainbowgardener wrote:Lemon Verbena or Lemon Myrtle?
No, it wasn't fragrant sumac with the seedy, lemon flavored berries. We have the fragrant 'three leaf' sumac here in MO and the leaves have a pungent smell but I wouldn't call it either lemony or fragrant.Odd Duck wrote:What about fragrant sumac? Isn't it supposed to be a citrusy scent to the foliage? Anyone familiar with the scent personally?
I am familiar with the fragrant sumac ( squaw bush, skunk bush) and they grow in Iowa but I have never found them to have a lemony scent to the leaves. Some say the leaves smell like skunk but I wouldn't call them skunky either. They have an unpleasant spicy smell. Fragrant sumac has red seeds are very lemony and make a nice lemon-aide but this is not the shrub that I remember. It was more like the lemon verbena but extremely cold hardy.Here's a link to fragrant sumac
could this be the plant? There are other pics in this link if you need.
I live in Sarnia, Ontario, Canada. This past summer I located a similar shrub/tree. I have taken some pictures and I will send them to you if you are still interested. I have asked the local nursier to help me identify it but no luck so far. The shinny green elongatged leaves definately have a strong lemon scent when wrinkled in your hand.bangstrom wrote:I lived in Iowa many years ago and remember a native shrub with leaves that smelled strongly of lemon when crushed. Does anyone have a possible ID?
It is funny I received your e-mail because I just found out the name of the bush. It is a Spice Bush 'Lindera Benzoin' I don't know how to send you the picture I took but if you go to https://www.mobot.org/gardeninghelp/plantfinder/plant.asp?code=D890 you will find information and pictures. It's a native plant of Missouri and grows east of the Mississippi Zone 4 to 9. The male has yellow flowers and the female has white flowers. Hope this solves the mystery for you. If you know how I could send you my picture just let me know.bangstrom wrote:I would be interested in seeing the pictures. Your description sounds like the shrub I have been asking about and, unlike lemon verbina, you have a similar climate where it might grow.
[url=https://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/835/p9220042.jpg/][img]https://img835.imageshack.us/img835/7171/p9220042.th.jpg[/img][/url]rainbowgardener wrote:You can post your pictures here; instructions are in NEW TO HELPFUL GARDENER under Helpful Tips and Suggestions for New Members.
But I'm afraid you may be disappointed. I grow spice bush. To me the crushed leaves are pungent and maybe a little spicy, but not in the slightest citrus-y.