Calycanthus floridus

Photographs belong to the photographers who allow use for FNPS purposes only. Please contact the photographer for all other uses.

Carolina Allspice, Sweetshrub


Also known as Calycanthus floridus var. glaucus

Plant Specifics

Size:6-9 ft tall by 6-12 ft wide
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Dark red
Fruit Color:Brown
Phenology:Deciduous. Flowers in spring. Has yellow fall color.
Noted for:Aroma, fragrance, Fall color, Showy flowers


Recommended Uses:Informal settings where it can be a low hedge plant or specimen. Plant forms small clusters by suckering, so give it room.
Considerations:In the right conditions, the suckering will be aggressive.
Propagation:Transplant suckers, layer, seed.
Availability:FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: Part Shade,  Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Stays Wet ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry)
Moisture Tolerance: Stays Wet ----- to ----- Not wet but not extremely dry
Salt Water Flooding Tolerance:Not salt tolerant of inundation by salty or brackish water.
Salt Spray/ Salty Soil Tolerance:Low/no tolerance of salty wind or direct salt spray
Soil or other substrate:Loam, Sand
Soil pH:Slightly acidic to neutral



Mostly pollinated by sap beetles. The beetles are drawn by the scent of fermentation, and they work their way into the shade of the overlapping tepals to find food. The flowers are easy to enter but difficult to depart. Once trapped inside, the beetle picks up pollen. After the flower is pollinated, the inner parts of the flower fold back to release the beetle. By that point, the stigmas will have withered, and the beetle will move on to another flower in search of more food, ensuring cross-pollination (Arnold Arboretum)

Native Habitats:Mesic-wet mesic sites. Slope forests, bluffs, riverine floodplain, upland hardwood forest, slope forest, bottomland forest. Found on stream banks.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures