Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon:
- Broadleaf, deciduous, aromatic shrub, to about 6-12 ft (2-4 m) tall, similar width, rounded. Twigs, and nearly all plant parts, release a strong pleasant odor when crushed. Leaves alternate, simple, obovate, 6-15 x 2-8 cm, thin, acuminate tip, gradual wedge-shaped base, margin ciliate, bright green above, yellow-green to golden yellow in fall, very aromatic. Male and female flowers, mostly on separate plants, pale yellow-green, in small clusters, appear before leaves. Fruit ellipsoid, 1 cm long, scarlet.
- Sun or part shade, dense and full in full sun but loose, open in shade. Best in moist, well-drained soil.
- Hardy to USDA Zone 4 Native from Ontario and Maine, southwest to Kansas and south to Texas and Florida.
- benzoin: from a vernacular Arabic word meaning aromatic gum.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: northeast of Pharmacy.