Fragrant with scents of fruit and spice, the unusual flowers of Carolina allspice make this shrub an unusual specimen for the garden. A rounded and spreading deciduous shrub, it is native to the extreme southeastern United States, from Virginia to Florida.
Its leaves are oval with a gracefully and elegantly pointed tip, and satiny-green to dark-green with a lighter gray-green underside. As the leaves begin to emerge in spring, the flowers appear on short stems. They open a rich, deep brownish-red or maroon, and look like a stumpy, octopus. Wonderfully fragrant, they release a scent like a a warm, sweet fruit salad. Because there is much variation in the plants that arise from seeds, some flowers can smell more soured and less fruity, others definitely like strawberries. Select a specimen in bloom at the nursery to ensure an appealing fragrance. Pollinated flowers become pear-shaped brown capsules that are also fragrant if broken. In autumn, the leaves turn yellow.
Plant Carolina allspice in any humusy well-drained soil and partial sun or partial shade. It tolerates deeper shade and drier soils, but will not grow as robustly or flower as heavily as a gardener would hope. It is lovely as part of a mixed shrub border or foundation planting, and should be located near a patio or walkway so the fragrance can be noted.
Information source: www.Learn2Grow.com.
Genus - Calycanthus
Species - Floridus
Common name - Sweet Shrub
Pre-Treatment - Required
Plant type - Medium Shrub
Vegetation type - Ornamental deciduous
Hardiness zones - 5 - 9
Exposure - Partial Sun, Partial Shade
Height - 6'-10' / 1.80 - 3 m
Spread - 6'-12' / 1.80 - 3.70 m
Growth rate - Fast
Bloom season - June - July
Leaf / Flower color - Green, Dark green / Dark Red, Brown
Soil PH - Acidic, Neutral
Soil type - Clay, Loam
Water requirements - Average Water
Landscape uses - Feature Plant, Foundation, Mixed Border, Screening / Wind Break
Seeds deveop a hard coat if overly dry. If so give a hot water treatment and soak 12-24 hours. Then stratify cold and moist in the fride at +2-+4 for 30 days.
After sow, barely covering seed, and tamp soil. Plastic cover greatly improves success.
Move to warm site (+15-+22C).
Days to germinate: 14-35.
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