(Calycanthus floridus)
The Sweetshrub Family (Calycanthaceae)

Multi-trunked shrub with erect, multiple stems creating a rounded outline; opposite, glossy, leathery, deciduous leaves and thin, light red-brown bark.


Wooded openings and edges; stream banks; moist hillsides.

Interesting Facts: 

Common name refers to its fragrant leaves and flowers which are used as potpourri or air freshener. Leaves, roots and bark used as cinnamon replacement; however can be toxic if large quantities are consumed. Infusions made from bark used as an emetic, diuretic and for treating skin hives. Also called Carolina Allspice.

Green to light brown, woody, bell-shaped “capsule” 1 - 1.5" long, on a stalk; matures in late summer to early fall.
Dark red to brownish-red, 1 - 2" across, numerous sepals and petals, strong strawberry-like odor, appearing March to May.
Wildlife value: 
Provides pollen for beetles and other pollinators; forage for white-tailed deer; limited cover and food source.
Leaf type: 
Wildlife value: 
Tree dimensions: 

Leaf length: 3.00-6.00 inches
Tree height: 6.00-10.00 feet

Where to find Sweetshrub on the Louisiana State Arboretum Trails:

BBR - Backbone Ridge Trail 10.0

Refer to our Live Map to locate this species and its interpretative signage on the trail system.