Calycanthaceae (Sweet Shrub) Family
The plant is an upright, deciduous, aromatic shrub with an irregular crown to approximately 6 feet. Its preferred habitat is stream edges, mixed woods, clearings, and swampy woods. It is most abundant in bottomland forests, sheltered forests, and along streams. Distribution is throughout the Escambia region.
The leaves are opposite on the twig, no teeth and no lobes, short leaf stalks. The shape is lance-like, bright green with prominent veins on the upper side, slightly turned under and wedge shaped, white waxy beneath with raised veins.
The flowers are solitary, bisexual in nature and symmetrical in form. The perianth is cup-shaped; the sepals and petals are similar and numerous. The color is maroon to reddish-brown; numerous stamens. Flowers occur in late spring (March-June).
Fruit is achene (a seed which outer layer is fused to it).
These medium-sized shrubs occur in infrequent colonies, on moist to somewhat dry sites, and open to shady areas. The plant may also be known as Carolina Allspice, Smooth Allspice, Spicebush, and Strawberry-shrub. Sweet Shrub is known to attract white-tailed deer, particularly in the Southern Appalachians Mountains. Other wildlife value is limited.