General Plant Information (Edit)
Plant Habit: Shrub
Life cycle: Perennial
Sun Requirements: Full Sun
Full Sun to Partial Shade
Partial or Dappled Shade
Water Preferences: Mesic
Minimum cold hardiness: Zone 5a -28.9 °C (-20 °F) to -26.1 °C (-15 °F)
Maximum recommended zone: Zone 9b
Plant Height: 3 to 9 feet
Plant Spread: 6 to 12 feet
Leaves: Good fall color
Other: leaves turn yellow in fall
Fruit: Other: can persist on plant through winter & into spring
Flowers: Showy
Blooms on new wood
Other: Try to purchase sweetshrub when in bloom to find one with fragrance. There is variation in the amount and nature of the perfume. The flowers also seem to become more fragrant as they age.
Flower Color: White
Other: with vivid maroon center
Bloom Size: 4"-5"
Flower Time: Spring
Late spring or early summer
Late summer or early fall
Uses: Windbreak or Hedge
Cut Flower
Dried Flower
Will Naturalize
Wildlife Attractant: Bees
Resistances: Deer Resistant
Humidity tolerant
Toxicity: Other: Ruminants are reported to have a toxic reaction from grazing this plant. Calycanthus contains calycanthine, an alkaloid similar to strychnine, and it is toxic to humans and livestock if consumed in large quantities.
Propagation: Seeds: Sow in situ
Other info: Seed needs to be fresh. Plant right away or stratify for 60 days before planting.
Propagation: Other methods: Cuttings: Stem
Stolons and runners
Pollinators: Various insects
Containers: Suitable in 3 gallon or larger
Needs repotting every 2 to 3 years
Needs excellent drainage in pots
Parentage: Calycanthus chinensis x Calycanthus floridus

Common names
  • Eastern Sweetshrub
  • Carolina Allspice
  • Strawberry Shrub
  • Sweet Betsy
  • Florida Spice Bush

Photo Gallery
Location: St Louis
Date: 2009-05-24
Photo by Val
  • Uploaded by Val
Photo by Val
  • Uploaded by Val
Location: Lucketts, Loudoun County, Virginia
Date: 2015-07-24
Location: JBsPlants at Roblyn Farm, New Jersey
Date: 2013-05-06
  • Uploaded by JB
  • Posted by flaflwrgrl (North Fl. - Zone 8b) on Aug 1, 2014 8:04 PM concerning plant:
    To truly understand how this cultivar of Calycathus came into being you should read about its parents in the comment I made here:
    Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus x raulstonii 'Hartlage Wine')

    Building upon this breeding program, Dr. Tom Ranney of the NCSU Woody Plant Breeding Center made more crosses and back crossed to the same parents, plus incorporated the genes of the yellow flowered C. floridus ‘Athens' Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus 'Athens')
    and this is how we now have the cultivar 'Venus.' It is a rapidly growing cultivar with large blooms, which nearly cover the plant. The blooms of Venus are white with vivid maroon-streaked inner petals.
Plant Events from our members
aspenhill On February 28, 2009 Obtained plant
Bluestone Perennials - qty 3
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