Calycanthus occidentalis
Common name: 
Western Spicebush
Western Sweetbush
California Allspice
kal-i-KAN-thus ok-si-den-TA-lis
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
  • Deciduous shrub, 4-12 ft (1.2-4 m) tall, fast growing, upright, rounded or irregular.  Leaves opposite, simple, ovate to elliptical, 8-20 cm long, entire margin, upper surface rough and dark green, pubescent beneath; yellow fall color.  Flowers solitary, purple-brown fading to yellow, 5-7 cm wide, fragrant, blooms in late spring and summer.  Crushed flowers and leaves have an odor of an "old wine barrel".  Fruit capsule-like, to 5 cm, somewhat woody, persists into winter.
  • Sun or shade.  Not fussy about soil and drainage.  Generally not considered a "delectable salad" by deer.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 7      Native range from the southern Cascades south to California coast ranges, Sierra Nevada foothills, and central and southern High Sierra Nevada, found in moist shady places, canyons, and stream banks.
  • occidentalis: western
  • Silverton, Oregon: The Oregon Garden.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, late spring

    plant habit, late spring

  • expanding leaves

    expanding leaves

  • flower bud and expanding leaves

    flower bud and expanding leaves

  • plant habit, flowering

    plant habit, flowering

  • plant habit, flowering in a landscape

    plant habit, flowering in a landscape

  • flowering shoots

    flowering shoots

  • flower


  • mature leaves

    mature leaves

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • winter twig, buds

    winter twig, buds