Spicebushes Blooming

newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)April 12, 2005

Well, the spicebushes I had planted two years ago are blooming now this spring. Hurray!!! Now, since all three have teeny tiny yellow flowers I was trying to figgure out whether the shrubs have male or female flowers but they (the flowers) are so small I can't see how anyone can tell!

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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Mine are too after three years.Here's a picture of two of them

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 4:57PM
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northeastwisc(4)

The flowers on the male plant are larger, showier and more numerous. Of course, when you are dealing with flowers this small, it's still very hard to tell them apart. If you wanted to get a magnifying glass, you could use the info in the link below to identify them. Or you could just wait until summer and see which ones have the fruits ...

Here is a link that might be useful: Spicebush pdf

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 5:08PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Do you get berries? Obviously if I get berries on some of the bushes I will know whats what. But I don't think there are any wild spicebush around here so if I have all three shrubs of one sex, I still will not get berries but will be clueless as to which my shrubs are, male or female. I ment to pick up another one or two last year but never did get to the one nursery way out east that carries them. Hopefully I will be able to this year.

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 5:09PM
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jillmcm(z6 PA)

I have zillions of spicebush growing everywhere, but I have yet to ever see a berry - I guess they get eaten too fast!

    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 8:27PM
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organica(7RichmondVA)

I planted three spicebushes last October while the weather was still fairly mild. One of them is leafing out now. The other two are just sitting there, either dormant or dead.

From the postings here, I get the impression it might be another year or two before I see any blooms on the one that is doing anything.

Anyone have advice on the other two? Should I assume they are dead and replace them? Should I wait another year? Did I plant too late in the season?

Where did you get your spicebushes? I got mine from Niche Gardens.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 9:27PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Rita I haven't got berries that I know of but after reading that article I think I have to females and a male. Organica Give them time mine and Rita's too I think took 3 years to bloom. I bought mine at Bowmans Hill wildflower preserve. Every plant I have ever bought there has bloomed and were large healthy plants. If you are ever in the area I highly recomend them The first two weekends in May and again in September is when they have their plant sale. Sarah

Here is a link that might be useful: Bowman's wildflower preserve

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 9:30AM
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organica(7RichmondVA)

Well if they take 3 years, I'm glad I planted them almost as soon as we moved in (had to yank out some privets first). They are so beautiful in the pictures... I'll just wait and hope.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 7:46PM
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Elaine_NJ6

Mine are blooming for the first time--after 5 or 6 years. Rabbit damage--the rabbits ate them down to the ground every year. This year we've had a resident hawk that seems to have thinned out the rabbit population considerably, so I have much less winter damage in general.

I originally planted about 10 spice bushes in a shrub island. The other shrubs have filled out, and as well as I can see, there are maybe 3 spice bushes left. Two seems to be blooming now, I think.

I never should have planted spice bushes, however. My site is alkaline and dry--all wrong. I made some mistakes like that in the beginning.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 11:22PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

Well, I think the flowers are bigger on one of the shrubs than the others for sure but these flowers are so darn small who can be positive about it? I will be carefully watching to see if they set berries. The flowers sure aren't much to look at, although the shrub does look like its dipped in yellow.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 6:18PM
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jillmcm(z6 PA)

I find that the differences in flower size are actually most obvious from a distance - the male flowers definitely show up more. Up close, it's harder for me to tell.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2005 at 8:55PM
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northeastwisc(4)

The images at the link below may be of some help in sorting out male and female flowers. These images plus the info in the Spicebush pdf (different stamens), and a good magnifying glass, should make sorting them out a little easier.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spicebush Flowers

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 12:40AM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Here's a close up of both male and female

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 10:01AM
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pankhi(z7Md)

SEE http://georgiawildlife.dnr.state.ga.us/assets/documents/lindme.pdf for illustrations of male and female flowers. Excellent source. Not L. benzoin but closely related L. melissifolia.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2005 at 1:33PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

The pictures and links were really great but I still don't know what my spricbushes are. The flowers are really gone by now and I just keep looking at them everyday to see if I can see any fruit set.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 2:18PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

I don't know either all I know are two plants look similar and one looks different. I have three. I've never seen any fruit. Maybe this year or maybe it will be eaten. Sarah

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 4:51PM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

HURRAY, HURRAY, HURRAY!!!!

I have berries on TWO of the spicebuses on not on the third so he is the male and I have TWO females!!!!
I am sooo..... lucky.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 5:17PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

That's wonderful I found berries on one today too. Sarah

    Bookmark   June 20, 2005 at 7:19PM
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stephenNJ(z6NJ)

Those are great pics Sarah!
I have 3 tiny Spicebush starter plants from some of the plant swaps Ive been to over the past couple of seasons.I just love the foliage,I can't wait till they all grow up someday.
-stephen

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 9:29PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Thanks Stephen you will love them! I thought I had two males and one female but I looked and realized two bushes had berries here's a picture of one of the bushes with green berries

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 10:08PM
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sowngrow(TX8)

Looks like you've got a caterpillar (Spicebush swallowtail?) on that one Sarah!
Robin

    Bookmark   June 21, 2005 at 11:47PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Really sowngrown where? (I think I need new glasses) Sarah

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 7:20AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Sarah, the top part of the plant in the picture has new growth, which is green. On that part of the stem (green part), on the left side, looks to be a caterpiller.
Terry

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 8:36PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Wow thanks Terry! I'm blind as a bat. That's great how exciting maybe I should post it over at the butterfly forum. Sarah

    Bookmark   June 22, 2005 at 8:47PM
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stephenNJ(z6NJ)

That sure does look like a cat from here.
congrats Sarah!
-stephen

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 7:02AM
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sowngrow(TX8)

Glad I could help you notice your cat Sarah! That's what might be eating Elaine's spicebushes along with rabbits! I need to order one or two of those.
Robin

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 9:21AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I'm confused. You have me intrigued with these plants and upon searching for a mailorder place, I've found that one place says zone 6 while another says zone 4. Anyone??

Terry

    Bookmark   June 23, 2005 at 10:20PM
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sarahbn(z6Pa.)

Thanks Stephen and sowngrown. Terry In my book it says hardy in zones 4-9 I think it's native to Illinois. Sarah

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 12:09AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Thanks Sarah! I'm going to get me some!

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 10:49AM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Just popped in to check this thread out...don't know all that much about spicebush except that it grows naturally in my backyard so it must like water, has a very pleasant fragrance when you crush the leaves and fruit, and that it can handle spells of -20 F or colder here with no difficulty, although it hardly ever gets that cold here in the winter anymore. I'm 6b, BTW...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2005 at 5:47PM
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cantstopgardening(Zone 4/5 WI)

I have spicebush doing well in my yard-zone 4 or 5. Not as many berries as in the photo above though.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2005 at 2:21AM
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newyorkrita(z6b/7a LI NY)

The spicebuses have been blooming this year starting yesterday.So a little earlier than last year. I got very few berries last year, so I am hoping that since they are older and bigger this year, they set better. The flowers are so small but the mass effect makes it quite noticable when they bloom.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 12:09AM
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terryr(z5a IL)

I got some last year. Mine are about 6 inches tall. Do they grow fast by any chance? Really sad looking sticks coming up out of the ground. Before I got these, I tried to find them locally. Not only were they really expensive ($47 a pot), the lady knew nothing about male and female. It's not true she told me, and I've never heard of that before.....don't you hate it when that happens??

    Bookmark   April 5, 2006 at 7:22PM
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RosebudLisa(5)

I have an unidentified shrub or bush in my yard and I think it just might be a spice bush or spice bushes (I have berries which are dark green) We just bought our house in June and closed about a month ago so I didn't get to see any of the spring blooming flowers. :( My bush or shrub is very tall....about 7-8'. Do they get this big? I think I only have one bush, but maybe when it was planted it was several plants and some are male and female? I'm in Indiana, btw.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2011 at 11:55PM
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loris(Z6 NJ)

Spicebush can definitely get that tall or taller. One way that you may get more ID information is to cut off a small twig and see if it has the spicy aroma the plant is named for.

The berries on my plants now are a medium green. I don't remember how dark they'll get before turning red.

I originally only had one spicebush I knew of in my yard, but think it was getting pollinated by a neighbor's plant.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2011 at 9:31PM
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