Calycanthus occidentalis


Common Name: spice shrub 


Family: Calycanthaceae

Origin: California

Type: Deciduous shrub

Size: 4 to 9 ft. high and wide.

Flowers: Red-brown fragrant flowers, 2 in., spring to summer; leaves (fragrant when crushed) are bright green and turn yellow in fall.

Uses: Background tree or screen, wonderful shape accent. Tolerates heat. Fire resistive.

Wildlife: Birds like seeds. Deer resistant.

Soil: Tolerates a variety.

Water: Medium.

Sun: Full sun to some shade.

Pruning: Only prune out old twiggy or crowded stems. Can handle severe pruning, however.

Pests & Diseases: Resists oak root fungus.

Notes: Native along streams and foothills of California’s coast mountain ranges. Pollinated by beetles, which are trapped in the flower, dusted with pollen, then released to pollinate another plant. Hardy to 0° F.