I'm wondering if anyone around San Antonio is growing Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) successfully, or is it only for acid soils?
I guess not. More research shows they definitely like neutral to acid, rich, deep soil. Early settlers looked to them as an indicator plant for good farm land.
I have Spicebush. Bought them at Natives of Texas (south of Kerrville) and they can be grown here...they have to be kept watered on a regular basis, however. I thought one of mine was dead last summer...but it came up again this spring from the roots...pretty small now, but it survived. The other two survived okay, except the remaining foliage is pretty skimpy right now because of the Spicebush Swallowtail caterpillars I've had.
I know you're asking about the San Antonio area, but I have spicebush growing in alkaline clay soil. It was grown from cuttings of where it was growing out in the woods at the Heard Museum in McKinney. I originally bought mine at one of the native plant sales held annually at the Heard Natural Science Museum. I just wanted you to know that it isn't just for acidic soils.
Thanks for both your responses! Wow -- maybe I can get one after all. Reading about what a useful plant it is for wildlife with its berries, and for me especially the idea that it hosts Spicebush swallowtail cats, perked my interest. So Linda, the Spicebush swallowtails found yours! That's great.
I see that Natives of Texas still offers it. I've been there, but it was years ago. Hmmm, I wonder if Rainbow Gardens buys wholesale from them. I'll have to check them out beore driving to Medina.
Here is a link that might be useful: Spicebush at Natives of Texas ...