Calycanthus Species, Carolina Allspice, Eastern Sweetshrub, Florida Spice Bush, Strawberry Shrub

Calycanthus floridus

Family: Calycanthaceae
Genus: Calycanthus (kal-ee-KAN-thus) (Info)
Species: floridus (FLOR-id-us) (Info)
View this plant in a garden




Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Sun Exposure:

Partial to Full Shade



This plant is resistant to deer

Foliage Color:

Medium Green


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)


4-6 ft. (1.2-1.8 m)

6-8 ft. (1.8-2.4 m)

8-10 ft. (2.4-3 m)


USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

USDA Zone 9a: to -6.6 C (20 F)

USDA Zone 9b: to -3.8 C (25 F)

Where to Grow:

Grow outdoors year-round in hardiness zone


Seed is poisonous if ingested

Parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:



Bloom Characteristics:

Flowers are fragrant

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Late Spring/Early Summer

Other details:

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing the rootball

From softwood cuttings

From semi-hardwood cuttings

From hardwood cuttings

Seed Collecting:

Bag seedheads to capture ripening seed

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds

N/A: plant does not set seed, flowers are sterile, or plants will not come true from seed


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Atmore, Alabama

Bessemer, Alabama

Birmingham, Alabama

Florence, Alabama

Gardendale, Alabama

Hazel Green, Alabama

Huntsville, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Mobile, Alabama

Pelham, Alabama

Perote, Alabama

Little Rock, Arkansas

Morrilton, Arkansas

Eureka, California

Fullerton, California

Stockton, California

Tulare, California

Denver, Colorado

New Haven, Connecticut

Altamonte Springs, Florida

Cantonment, Florida

Dunnellon, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fountain, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida

Jay, Florida

Mount Dora, Florida

Tampa, Florida

Atlanta, Georgia

Barnesville, Georgia

Braselton, Georgia

Dalton, Georgia

Decatur, Georgia

Ellabell, Georgia

Fitzgerald, Georgia

Hoboken, Georgia

Marietta, Georgia

Peachtree City, Georgia

Rome, Georgia(2 reports)

Villa Rica, Georgia

Machesney Park, Illinois

Waukegan, Illinois

Greenville, Indiana

Barbourville, Kentucky

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Lexington, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky(2 reports)

Jarreau, Louisiana

Zachary, Louisiana

Buckfield, Maine

Pownal, Maine

Halethorpe, Maryland

Millersville, Maryland

Amherst, Massachusetts

Taunton, Massachusetts

Wrentham, Massachusetts

Remus, Michigan

Stevensville, Michigan

Albany, Minnesota

Glenwood, Minnesota

Winona, Minnesota

Lucedale, Mississippi

Magnolia, Mississippi

Mathiston, Mississippi

Ava, Missouri

Goodman, Missouri

Omaha, Nebraska

Claremont, New Hampshire

Greenfield, New Hampshire

Bridgeton, New Jersey

Whiting, New Jersey

Fairport, New York

Himrod, New York

New York City, New York

Sag Harbor, New York

Syracuse, New York

Warwick, New York

Asheville, North Carolina

Battleboro, North Carolina

Beaufort, North Carolina(2 reports)

Belmont, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina

Durham, North Carolina

Elizabeth City, North Carolina

Hendersonville, North Carolina

Hillsborough, North Carolina

Nebo, North Carolina

Parkton, North Carolina

Raleigh, North Carolina

Trinity, North Carolina

Williamston, North Carolina

Columbus, Ohio

North Lima, Ohio

Broken Arrow, Oklahoma

Harrah, Oklahoma

Tangent, Oregon


Apollo, Pennsylvania

Brownsville, Pennsylvania

Camp Hill, Pennsylvania

Downingtown, Pennsylvania

Emmaus, Pennsylvania

Glenmoore, Pennsylvania

Mountain Top, Pennsylvania

Norristown, Pennsylvania(2 reports)

Sharon, Pennsylvania

Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania

Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Charleston, South Carolina(2 reports)

Columbia, South Carolina

Conway, South Carolina

North Augusta, South Carolina

Okatie, South Carolina

Rock Hill, South Carolina(2 reports)

Spartanburg, South Carolina

Summerville, South Carolina

Sumter, South Carolina

Bristol, Tennessee

Chattanooga, Tennessee

Church Hill, Tennessee

Elizabethton, Tennessee(2 reports)

Greenback, Tennessee

Hendersonville, Tennessee

Johnson City, Tennessee

Ooltewah, Tennessee

Toone, Tennessee

Austin, Texas

Belton, Texas

Richmond, Texas

Tomball, Texas

Tyler, Texas

Logan, Utah

Arlington, Virginia(2 reports)

Callao, Virginia

Dublin, Virginia

Galax, Virginia

Great Falls, Virginia

Hurt, Virginia

Leesburg, Virginia

Lexington, Virginia

Mechanicsville, Virginia

Stafford, Virginia

Suffolk, Virginia

Woodbridge, Virginia

Bellevue, Washington

Concrete, Washington

Hazel Dell North, Washington

Lake Shore, Washington

Orma, West Virginia

Pulaski, Wisconsin

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Apr 13, 2022, rcpet from Henderson, KY wrote:

I live in Ky This was a mature bush when we moved to our home in 1979 at that time it was a good size with lots of shade after removal of a tree we began to cut it back every year. I never knew what it was called, my children called it the strawberry bush because of the wonderful smell we have enjoyed the smell for many years


On Aug 27, 2020, Clint07 from Bethlehem, PA wrote:

In the 3 years I've had it, it's done well in my Zone 6, part shade lot: full of beautiful dark red blossoms and large, handsome leaves. It tends to sprawl, so I prune it to keep it to a size appropriate for the spot. It's starting to sucker, so I may just let it multiply.


On May 19, 2018, Imaredhead946 from Flowery Branch, GA wrote:

I have a 2+ acre wooded lot with mostly hardwoods. It seems periodically over the years I find something new that I've not noticed or hasn't been here before (thanks to the birds). Four years ago I discovered sweet shrub growing and blooming in the woods 10 to 15 feet from my driveway. Every year since then, I've not been able to find it blooming. It just hasn't bloomed again. Today, I noticed a couple blooms in a different spot closer to the edge of my driveway instead of in the woods but the blooms have no aroma and the color is more on the side of deep pink instead of deep maroon like the ones I originally found a few years ago. Maybe because the new ones get more sun? I don't know but I would love to know why the ones I found a few years ago haven't bloomed again. There seems to b... read more


On Apr 12, 2018, Afwifey from Sumter, SC wrote:

Found this growing beautifully in our yard without special watering/light measures taken. The blossoms are very nice and the foliage is as well. I am going to try and grow a cutting for my front yard!


On Jul 28, 2016, ruthlkoontz from Halethorpe, MD wrote:

I have one of these bushes growing in my yard in Baltimore Md. When I bought my home in 1992, my neighbor explained that the woman that originally owned the home brought 2 of them back from Georgia from her sisters home, and planted one in her yard (mine) and gave one to the neighbor. The neighbor's plant did not survive. The neighbor explained that the buds were used often for sachets for dresser drawers, and that is exactly what I used them for. Now my son owns the home, and the bush is still there.


On Aug 13, 2015, FlyPoison from Rock Hill, SC (Zone 7a) wrote:

Sweet Shrub as I prefer to call it is one of my favorite blooming bushes. I absolutely love the sweet aroma whether I'm far away or up close. Their fall color here is quite nice as they turn a very intense shade of yellow. The only problem I've had is drought stress and it's been brutal this summer. I've kept most healthy but some have already begun to shed leaves and it's only mid-August.


On Jun 25, 2015, purbl from Cortland, OH wrote:

My grandparents had one of these bushes at the end of the driveway. A lot of people are describing the scent as rotten apples. I always thought it smelled strongly of bubblegum. My family always called it the bubblegum bush. It took me a while to figure out what kind of bush it actually was. If one tried to smell the flowers up close, the smell was not as pleasant, but it put off a strong scent of sweet bubblegum if you just stood next to it. I loved that bush. Yes, the flowers are very dark, but I enjoyed looking at them and did not have as much trouble seeing them as many people are stating. I only saw one Ohio listing on the list of places this bush has been known to grow. My grandparents lived in the greater Youngstown, OH area. The bush was always full and healthy. I don't recall it b... read more


On May 29, 2015, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

I grew up with one. I think the merits are overrated. The flowers are such a dark color that they are hard to see except close up. The hybrids with C. chinensis (like 'Hartlege Wine' , 'Venus', and 'Aphrodite') are much showier, with larger flowers and a brighter color. Unfortunately, the hybrids are not fragrant.

And I've always thought that the fragrance is like rotten apples, not allspice. The flower fragrance varies in intensity, and can be negligible. It's more reliably produced by crushing twigs or leaves.

Grows well in full sun here in Boston Z6a.

This plant is toxic to ruminants and to humans.


On May 29, 2015, crobles04 from Tomball, TX wrote:

Attempted to grow a few years ago from 1-2 yr old plant, in a suitable location with morning sun afternoon shade. It survived two winters but it never thrived. I believe these cannot survive because of the humidity and heat of Houston.


On Jun 2, 2014, bobbieberecz from Concrete, WA wrote:

Not sure whether to rate this a neutral or positive. I have two plants that get partial sun and mostly shade. Both are in very fast draining soil. One gets a few hours of morning sun the other just an hour or two of hot afternoon sun. Both have leafed out beautifully with plenty of blossoms. Why neutral? At the nursery I literally followed my nose to the shrub that was perfuming the air from quite a distance away. I was so intoxicated I bought 2 plants on the spot, though I was told I would have a grove quickly if I didn't keep on top of the suckering. My plants both smell like sour rotting apples....not at all spicy. The second reason for neutral is that it is a nice green bush but the dark flowers can ONLY be seen up close. This is a good bush for one of those winding garden pa... read more


On Apr 2, 2014, _emily_rose from Chattanooga , TN (Zone 7b) wrote:

I have a 'thicket' of Carolina Allspice near the edge of my woods. These are either wild, or descendants of plants that would have been set out in the 1960s. They are in quite a bit of shade, but grow to about 6 feet tall, and cover about a 20 foot wide area. I am considering transplanting a small number of them into a shade garden I am developing.


On Sep 16, 2013, cargarden from Goodview, MN wrote:

Live in Winona, Mn zone 4 but getting warmer each year except for last year. I have 3 Sweet shrubs and found out where you get them desides on the size of flower at least in my case and the flowers really don't have too much of a fraqrance but the leaves and stem do (strong). Wish the flowers did, I have the white, and the maroon from White Farm which are a larger flower and a maroon from Spring Hill with a smaller flower. I am confused on should they be in full sun or shade as different places call for either, They are in full sun and also have one in part shade. How do you get them so you get the fragrance so you can smell with out breaking the wood. Have a few dogs next door to us and that is why I got them because they say it freshes the air. As you know what dogs do if the extremitie... read more


On Jun 27, 2013, flutterby267 from Taunton, MA wrote:

We have one of these on the property that my grandparents planted. It's over 50 years old, planted in almost full sun. There is the remnant (suckers, I can't get my mother to let me replace it), of a quince next to it that gives it some shade in the middle of the day. It still blooms like a champ in late spring with plenty of seed pods to follow.


On May 19, 2013, whipporwill from Middlebury, IN wrote:

My sweet shrub is growing(and scenting) nicely in Northern Indiana. It has been divided several times. It was transported from my childhood home in the Shenandoah Valley of VA. and doing well in Elkhart Co. IN. A great conversation plant and deer don't bother it!


On Sep 8, 2012, Samamfee from Rome, GA wrote:

I got some seeds of this plant. But I read here that the seeds will not grow here. So I'm back at square one or I need to buy the friggen bush instead.


On Jun 3, 2012, countrylife4me from Beargrass, NC wrote:

I have a question. My Sweet Betsy bush has never flowered. I moved it and put it in a pot where it has been for a couple of years now. Any suggestions as to what to do for it? I live on a wooded lot with very little sunshine.


On Apr 15, 2012, Brckfield from Hazel Dell North, WA wrote:

My sweet shrub is growing beautifully, however, there is no fragrance. I live in WA state.
any one have an idea why the plant has no fragrance.


On May 26, 2011, joylederman from Dover, PA wrote:

I have a question about Sweet Shrub. This is often listed as a plant attractive to birds & wildlife (in fact, I just got one from Tractor Supply, specifically sold as "Plants for Birds & Wildlife"). What is the feature of the plant that the critters like? Do birds eat the seedheads? Just wondering.


On May 20, 2011, JMCDawg from Statesboro, GA wrote:

My Parents had Sweet Scrub planted outside bedroom window. It was always so good waking up with this sweet aroma in the air. Daddy would keep several blooms in his shirt pockets and pass them out at church. They are both gone now. Daddy passed this past November at the age of 98. There anniversary would have been May 5. I fill a vase with cuttings and put at the cemetary. I could sense there smile.


On May 4, 2011, mentinsel from BREST,
France (Zone 9a) wrote:

Hi from FRANCE
I'm looking for informations about calycanthus
According to french nurserymen
Calycanthus floridus seem to have no scent
I am fan of fragant shrubs
What do you think ?


On Feb 21, 2011, daisys_tia from Battleboro, NC wrote:

My grandparents lived in a small town in NC and they had, as my Granny called it, " a Sweet Betsy Bush." This bush would be in bloom by mid spring and seemed like it would bloom through the summer. As kids playing and Granny watching us from her porch swing she would tell us to brush by the bush or pinch one so we could smell the sweet aroma as we played. This brings back such sweet memories of times gone by. As I remember, it was a hardy bush and all of us grandchildren loved to pick a blossom and smell it all day. The more you pinched it the better it smelled. For everyone that has one of the shrubs, I hope it brings great memories to you as well. I plan on planting some by my front porch so my grandchildren can have this wonderful experience also!!


On Feb 13, 2011, RosemaryK from Lexington, MA (Zone 6a) wrote:

Wow! I can't wait to smell one. These are the cultivars listed In Dirr's Hardy Shrubs and Trees: 'Athens' or 'Katherine': a deliciously fragrant yellow flowered clone with heavier textured dard green leaves that turn golden yellow in autum; 'Edith Wilder': like the specieis but with guaranteed floral fragrance; 'Michael Lindsey': fragrant maroon flowers and spinach colored leaves on a more compact framework. I have also looked over the hybrids with the Chinese plant such as 'Hartlage Wine,' and although they sound great in looks, one can't expect them to inherit the fragrance of our American species. Now the job is to wait and smell some in bloom in order to choose. My local New England nurseries claim they sell them out every year.


On Nov 8, 2010, Pelfrey1 from Ooltewah, TN wrote:

Having grown up with Sweet Shrubs in the South, while some find them invasive, I love having them around. They grow in most any soil, even the clay-chirt mixture of the south-TN area where I now live. I did come by a rather unusual green-flowered form with an intense fragrance that wafts through the entire garden in summer evenings. It has viable seed pods and I'm presently raising seedlings. Can't wait to see how it grows!


On Nov 8, 2010, burien_gardener from Burien (SW Seattle), WA (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have a large spice bush in my south Seattle, Puget Sound garden. It does take a gardener to appreciate the flowers as it is not showy. However, I've seen White Flower Farm (?) offer a variety or hybrid with large white camellia-like flowers.

As to propagation, my observation is that spice bush is one of those thicket-forming understory plants. Mine has produced a number of suckers and I get to distribute them through my garden -- Yea, free plants!


On Nov 8, 2010, shannon2299 from Owen Sound,
Canada wrote:

Hi : I live in Owen Sound, Ontario,Canada...we have a Carolina Allspice in our back yard, it is about 30 years old now...My mother brought home a cutting from BC. Canada from my cousins...It stands around 10 feet now...One problem..I have tried to start a new plant. from softwood, and hardwood cuttings...It does not produce seed pods in the fall..can anyone tell me how come it does not produce seeds pods..I have had no luck starting new plants...I could use some advise...Thanks Shannon


On Jun 25, 2010, GardenSite from Woodbridge, VA wrote:

My "bubby-rose" as grandma called it, grew from a seed pod off a huge old bush at my grandmothers house in Pulaski, VA. This is its 12th year and did it ever blossom. I counted 37 blossoms while previous years have ranged from 0 to 3. And oh they smell so good... It has survived 4 in-state moves, various containers and at 3ft tall is the heartiest it has been.

During my 12 years of watching I researched to find out the name and where it came from. At the start I knew of one at grandmas and one across the street from grandmas. It was certainly a surprise when I volunteered at Woodlawn Plantation to find it growing "like a weed" according to the regular workers, as they were trying to thin it out. The head gardener directed me to Monticello. There I found one growing... read more


On May 7, 2010, gonedutch from Fairport, NY wrote:

I read from comments here that the scent of the flowers reminds readers of applesauce, cinnamon, and nutmeg. My olfactory association is with baked pineapple upside-down cake. The crushed foliage and bark have a more pungent scent still. I find the dozen or so plants in my garden grow well but individual stems are short-lived; about four years. I thin out the old growth each season and find that new growth comes back more vigorously. Here in north-western NY the maximum height of the shrub is about five feet. It grows equally vigorously in sun and shade. And it tolerates growing near Black Walnut trees; an added benefit in our area where squirrels have spread walnut trees all over residential gardens.


On Apr 8, 2010, totheMax from Easton, MD wrote:

When I first moved to my husbands family home in Starr on Maryland's Eastern Shore, there was a very old Carolina Allspice there. It had been planted some 50 years prior by my husband's grandmother. It was nestled in an eastern corner of our old farmhouse, watered by rain that ran off of the un-guttered roof. It was as large as an elephant, and smelled heavenly of strawberries and melon, sometimes banana! When we tore down the old house, we had an excavator dig up the large plant and move it to another part of our yard....where it languished in somewhat declining form for a few years. We moved to Easton Md. bringing with us a much smaller portion of the shrub bush. This new portion was only large enough to fit into a child's bucket, yet in the last two years it is thriving once again. L... read more


On Dec 17, 2009, vossner from East Texas,
United States (Zone 8a) wrote:

My carolina allspice is still in the "stick" phase. Young plants need winter protection the first year.

update: did not survive my area. Tried growing it twice in suitable locations.


On Dec 17, 2009, zanlpn from Bristol, TN wrote:

I have a Sweet Shrub in my backyard from the home where I grew up. (Grew up and live in Upper East TN). I got a 2' "stick" 8 yrs ago from that home and it is now about 8' tall and doing wonderfully well. Maroon flowers with the strawberry aroma. Not real invasive but does multiply. This is from stock that is 60+ years old. Wouldn't trade it for anything! Is in full sun most of the day and is partially shaded by a pine tree. It only gets watered when it rains. Would recommend this plant to anyone who wants an old fashioned plant with a lovely scent.


On Jul 20, 2009, Jo_Ann610 from Norristown, PA (Zone 6b) wrote:

This plant was growing in full sun in the back yard of the house I bought in Norristown, PA in 2003. It has done very well, considering most sources say it should grow in partial to full shade. I do love the smell of the flowers.


On Nov 16, 2008, SantaRosaGal from Jay, FL wrote:

8b Santa Rosa County, FL
I bought this shrub online. When it arrived 3 yrs ago it was two "bare sticks" in a pot about 2 feet tall. I planted it where it receives the morning and mid afternoon sun and shade in the late afternoon and evening. It did well for the first 1 1/2 yrs, grew to about 4 feet and leafed out well. Then a worker accidentally drug a large hose over it and snapped off the top half of the plant This year it grew back again but still has not bloomed. I am afraid it is getting too much exposure to our NW Florida sun as the leaf tips are brown, curled, and easily crumble in my hand by mid summer even though they get a fair amount of water. I am going to transplant it to a shady location this Fall to see if that will help.


On Apr 6, 2008, dee_cee from Birmingham, AL (Zone 7b) wrote:

My grandmother had one of these at the side of her house when I was a kid & I always loved the smell. I was delighted to discover one growing in my back yard among a clump of althea when I bought this place a few years ago. I cut the althea back to give it room & it has gotten bigger & produces more flowers each year.


On Nov 24, 2007, kristywins from Raleigh, NC wrote:

Re: Poisonous plant claim

I just wanted to note that someone has commented that this plant is poisonous and that is only partially true. Once upon a time the bark of this plant was used as a spice and may still be done safely since the only poisonous part of the plant is the seed - and then only if taken in large quantities.


On Feb 6, 2006, dirtybirdie from Union City, TN wrote:

I have a Sweet Shrub growing in my front yard. It was planted in 1942 & still going strong. I let it get quiet big, about 25 feet around , then trim it back a bit. My front yard joins the hiway & this shrub is really an attention getter. Have had many quirys about it. It's in full sun & fairly hard dirt, so guess they would survive about anywhere.


On Jan 31, 2006, ppatnaude from Amherst, MA (Zone 5a) wrote:

Grows Well In Amherst MA one other interesting aspect to this plant is it's seed pod.


On Dec 30, 2005, escambiaguy from Atmore, AL (Zone 8b) wrote:

My great grandmother used to live on the same land that I do today and while she died before I was born, my mom has told me stories about about how she would wrap the blooms in a hankerchief and take them to church with her. She would smell them while sitting in church. It is a very long lived plant. Mine is over 40 years old. The only negative comment about the plant is that it spreads like crazy. I have to constantly prune the suckers. If left alone you will have a yard full of sweetshrub.


On Mar 22, 2005, Peachdumplin wrote:

I relocated from New York to SC some 15 years ago. In our yard off the back deck was a shrub, which my grand mother, who was a native to this area, called a "Sweet Bubby Bush".

She said that in her youth, she learned that she could use the flowers from this shrub as a sachet in her clothing drawers, which was common practice of young women in this area in the 1920's and 30's.

The Sweet Bubby Bush has a wonderful fragrance, and is a hardy shrub to grow in Spartanburg SC. We once transplanted this 7 foot shrub, and it survived, and continues to flourish in it's new location.


On Oct 20, 2004, carrieebryan from Midland, WA (Zone 8a) wrote:

My parents' house in College Park, MD had this and also I grew it in West Allis, WI. We called it "applesauce bush" because it smells exactly like warm cinnamon-flavored applesauce. In my 30-year plan I intend to add it to my garden in Independence, MO and am looking forward to it eagerly!


On Sep 27, 2004, WendyAloha from Beaverton, OR wrote:

I have just purchased my first Sweet Betsy bush and am hoping for a happy shrub here in Oregon. I was inspired by my father-in-law who reminisced so charmingly about young girls carrying the buds (I'm not sure if by that he meant the flowers or the seed pods, since both are supposed to be fragrant) in their handkerchiefs tucked in a warm spot (I'll bet that's why it's called 'bubby bush' or 'bosom bush') as a substitute for the perfume they couldn't afford or weren't allowed to wear back in Depression-era North Carolina. I'm dying for a whiff, so hope it is happy on my north facing wooded hillside!


On Jun 18, 2004, Charleen43 from Claremont, NH wrote:

We just cut down an old rotting non-blooming lilac in our back yard and discovered this plant in full bloom hiding amongst the "runners" of the lilac tree. What a surpise! We only moved into this house last Christmas so we had no clue what was growing around the house until this spring when all the snow was gone. I asked several of my sibling "master" gardeners and my Mom who knows every plant from New England just about and she had never seen or smelt anything like it...nor had anyone else. Tomorrow I was going to take a slip of it to the local nursery, BUT today I was thumbing through my shade gardening books and there was the allspice shrub staring me in the face. Again, Wow what a surprise and what a specimen.

Right now it is in full sun (all day sun) and from my rea... read more


On May 29, 2004, spaceman_spiff from Saint Petersburg, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

I have also heard the name "bubby" associated with this plant. My grandmother had one in her yard in Boone County, West Virginia, and always called it a "bubby rose." My aunt there had one, too, and I have seen it in several places in that area of West Virginia.

A few years ago I ordered one in the mail from a nursery in the Carolinas and planted it in my yard in St. Petersburg, FL, since the nursery catalog said it was zoned for as far south as Zone 9. It grew successfully for a couple of years, and right about when it bloomed for the first time, I sold the house and moved. I divided a couple of rooted sections to bring with me to my new house, but it failed to grow successfully. After 3 or so years of appearing very sick-looking (and never blooming), it finally died.... read more


On May 13, 2004, mommas_angels from Elizabethton, TN wrote:

I live in the tri-cities area of Northeast Tennessee, this plant is not only known as the sweet shrub bush, it is also called "bubby bush". I was introduced to this plant by my mother-in-law. My brother-in-law gave me 2 starts of this bush and when ever I move I always take 2 starts of this plant with me. No, I have not moved across state lines with it and I would be completely devastated if ever I had to leave it behind. I enjoy the fragrance that blows into my home each spring and early summer as it blooms. I feel that everyone who enjoys the sweet smell of cinnamon.


On Oct 3, 2003, samkar from Lake Lure, NC wrote:

Attractive, intriging - brown flowers have a scent of ripe apples. Wood and leaves have a scent of camphor, and bark similar to cinnamon.

While plant is called 'Allspice', it is toxic, and must not be used as a herb or spice.


On Jun 2, 2003, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I know this plant as Carolina allspice; other names are sweetshrub and strawberry shrub. Grows vigorously in shade or semi-shade. Soil ranges from acid to neutral. Native in rich moist woodlands; colonizes to form thickets. Grows 6-8 ft high. It's been called 'bosom' plant because the lady of the house would pluck the blossoms to put in her bosom when going out on the town.


On Jan 10, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

Although this shrub is very easily started from seed, the fragrance varies from slight to heavy from seed-grown plants. The best way to ensure you get one that is nicely fragrant is to get a rooted cutting or sucker from a known plant.


On Jul 19, 2001, darius from So.App.Mtns.,
United States (Zone 5b) wrote:

Sweet shrub grows 6-9' tall x 6-12' spread, often by suckers (which transplant easily). Flowers in May-June, with reddish-maroon flowers, but some var. have chartreuse flowers, and some have white flowers. The native shrubs found in the Smokey Mountains have reddish-maroon flowers. The bark was widely used in the mountains as a substitute for allspice.

The attractive seed pods are about 2" long, roughly shaped like a tear drop, with vertical ridged sides.

Zones 4-9.


On Jul 19, 2001, tiG from Newnan, GA (Zone 8a) wrote:

Seeds may be sown in containers of sandy loam in March or April. Plants may be divided in the spring. Cuttings can also be taken in July and inserted in sandy soil in a propagating case in a greenhouse or frame.
These hardy, vigorous-growing, deciduous shrubs are found wild in the United States