Lindera benzoin
Common name: 
Common Spicebush
Wild Allspice
lin-DER-a BEN-zo-in
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.
Click image to enlarge
  • flowers and emerging leaves

    flowers and emerging leaves

  • plant habit, spring

    plant habit, spring

  • shoot, expanding leaves

    shoot, expanding leaves

  • leaves and developing fruit

    leaves and developing fruit

  • leaves


  • plant habit, fruiting

    plant habit, fruiting

  • fruiting branches

    fruiting branches

  • fruiting branch

    fruiting branch

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • plant habit and leaf, fall

    plant habit and leaf, fall

  • plant habit and fruit, winter

    plant habit and fruit, winter

  • winter twig, buds

    winter twig, buds

  • flower buds, winter

    flower buds, winter