Calycanthus occidentalis

Western Spice bush is native throughout semi shady and shady glens primarily in central and northern California with outliers in Oregon found north of Medford. A large deciduous shrub with a lush quality. The late leaves are medium glossy green and large. In summer double petalled madder red /brown flowers appear. The 2″ wide flowers have the distinct fragrance of a wine cask. Its most noticeable up close, but a large shrub in full bloom is a fruitful fragrant cloud. To 7′ x 7′ and adaptable to full sun to quite a bit of shade. Water to establish in its first year and then only occasional. This very tough drought adapted shrub should be used a lot more in our climate. Fall color is bright yellow but does not stop traffic. Tends to hit its ultimate height and then spreads laterally from there. In habitat its associates are Ceanothus, Aristolochia, Aesculus, Smilax. Very easy and long lived Oregon native shrub. Plant with Frangula, Ceanothus, etc in shrub borders or as an informal hedge. The more flowers you have the more dramatic the perfume. Seed heads that follow the flowers are large round semi woody urns and they are showy as well. Loved by hummingbirds and native insects. Moderately deer resistant  protect when young.   Oregon native plant.

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