Northern Spicebush – Ansel Oommen, Bugwood.org
Northern Spicebush Twig - Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.orgNorthern Spicebush Leaves and Berries - Chris Evans, Illinois Wildlife Action Plan, Bugwood.org

Spicebush, Northern – 12-18″ (2-0)

Spicebush (Lindera benzoinprefers moist, shady areas similar to its home in hardwood understories.  It can reach up to 12 feet in height and a similar width.  Spicebush is fairly resistant to deer and other herbivores.  It is also resistant to compact soils.  The berries have a high wildlife value for songbirds, though they taste soapy to humans.  Spicebush needs both male and female plants for berries.  Plant at least 3 to ensure cross-pollination and create a great nesting area for songbirds.

SKU: NS-1218. Categories: , .

Product Description

  • Seedling Size:  12-18″
  • Seedling Age:  2-0
  • Mature Height:  5 – 15 feet
  • Mature Width:  10 – 15 feet
  • Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy, Sandy
  • Moisture:  Moderate, Moist
  • Sun:  Partial Shade, Shade
  • Growth Rate:  Slow

Key Characteristics of Northern Spicebush

  • One of the first shrubs to flower in spring, spicebush brightens gardens and supports early pollinators.
  • Bark is dark grey with lighter lenticels.  Smells somewhat like allspice.
  • Large, fragrant leaves recall spicebush’s tropical cousins and turn sunny yellow in autumn.
  • Bright red berries are produced in late summer.  They are high in the fats birds need for energy in fall and winter.

Visitors Attracted to Northern Spicebush

Help Control Invasives!

Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) by Rigel7

Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) by Rigel7

Northern spicebush enjoys similar conditions to glossy buckthorn, a native plant to Eurasia but has been commonly planted in this country as a hedge and for wildlife food and cover. It was widely recommended for conservation plantings in the Midwest until its invasive tendencies became apparent; it creates dense thickets and out-competes native vegetation. Its fruit is widely dispersed by birds and small mammals (via Michigan DNR).