Calycanthus floridus

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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:Red
Fruit Color:Brown
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:Acidic



Carolina allspice has tepals and evolved long before bees and but-terflies entered the landscape. Its flowers are mostly pollinated by sap beetles, though they are attractive to other local pollinators as well. The beetles are drawn by the scent of sweet fermentation, and they work their way into the shade of the overlapping tepals to find food from April to July. The flowers are easy to enter but difficult to depart. Once trapped inside, the beetle picks up pollen. After the flower further matures, 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, unknowingly 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:
10A 10B 8A 8B 9A 9B 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures