Thursday, April 17, 2008

Northern Spice Bush

Northern Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin)
(Photo from 3/27/08)

Plant family: Laurel (Lauraceae)

Habitat: Rich deciduous woodlands, wooded bluffs, bottomland forests along rivers, wooded slopes (usually toward the bottom), and gravelly seeps in shaded areas.

Range: Most of eastern North America.

Comments (from Missouri Plants): This shrubby species is easy to identify in the field because of its habitat and its pleasant fragrance. When crushed, the leaves give off a lemon scent that is reminiscent of "Pledge" furniture polish. The small flowers of the plant are some of the first to be seen in the spring. They are short lived and the plant is typically seen with just leaves or in fruit. This is a dioeceous species, meaning plants will have either male or female flowers. Staminate plants typically have many more flowers than pistillate plants.



Chrissy said...

Very nice blog and great photos.

Willard said...

Hi Marvin,
It's good to see all of the excellent photos that you posted since my last visit.

We have many of the same plants blooming here now, especially the spicebush.

There is also a lot of interest in hunting mushrooms, but I never got in to that as I can ordinarily walk right past them and not see them. I do like to eat them. It's strange, but many people who like to hunt them don't particularly care to eat them and then there are the people like me, but I guess there are plenty that like to do both.

Thanks for your comment about the turkey pictures. I think it is very true that one is usually more critical of their own work as they are looking for the problem areas.

I did finally hear several gobblers this morning, but was in the wrong position to get got photos, although I did record the audio of the gobbling with the video camera and got some long range video of one strutting.

Texas Travelers said...

I am not sure if I am familiar with this plant. I usually learn something new everyday when I visit all my favorite blogs.

This was a good post. Great information and photos.

I always enjoy your posts.

Have a great weekend.

Lana Gramlich said...

How interesting! What lovely little flowers. Might be nice to bring a sprig of these in & simmer them on the stove for a while, get that lemony smell everywhere. I love me some lemony smells (preferably herbal, of course.)

AphotoAday said...

How interesting, and now I have another word to add to my vocabulary -- "dioeceous".   And of course I already knew what stamens and pistils are, but I'll have to start tossing around the staminate and pistillate variations of the words.   I bet it'll either go over great with the ladies, or sink me like a lead balloon...

Tom said...

I'm sure we have this over here.. I look in my book later or ask Peter when he calls as I'm sure he will today..

Q said...

Dear Marvin,
My husband and I planted 13 spice bushes last autumn. I am looking forward to seeing them bloom.
Thanks for the post.

Anonymous said...

"reminiscent of Pledge"? gee, that's a great way to think of nature, innit? smells just like what comes out of a spray can! don't say lemon, just say Pledge!

I planted spicebush 3 years ago and while I love the aromatic foliage, Pledge is the LAST thing I think of when I'm around it. It's much more like eucalyptus or juniper than citrus.

Marvin said...

I gotta agree. The "Pledge" comparison seemed both inaccurate and poorly chosen to me too, but I thought maybe my nose was just failing to appreciate the true natural aroma of Lemon Pledge.