Lindera benzoin

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Plant Specifics

Size:to 10 ft
Life Span:Long-lived perennial
Flower Color:Yellow
Fruit Color:Red
Noted for:Aroma, fragrance, Showy fruits, Interesting foliage


Recommended Uses:Naturalistic settings and informal wet hammock settings.
Considerations:Like it's relative redbay(Persea borbonia), it's susceptible to attacks by the redbay ambrosia beetle, which spreads a deadly fungus called Laural Wilt. While we need to keep planting them for the butterflies, just be aware that you might lose it to this wilt. Maybe if we plant enough, that we'll find some that are resistant.
Availability:Friends, Native nurseries, FNPS plant sales, Seed
Light: Shade
Moisture Tolerance:
always floodedextremely dry
 (Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding)
Moisture Tolerance: Usually moist, occasional inundation ----- to ----- Somewhat moist, no flooding
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:Organic material (muck), Sand
Soil pH:Acidic



Birds and mammals eat the fruits.


  • Larval host for the spice bush swallowtail and other butterflies. 
  • Attracts bees and flies.

Native Habitats:Bluffs, floodplains, calcareous hammocks. Rare.

Distribution and Planting Zones

Natural Range in Florida
USDA Zones

Suitable to grow in:
8A 8B 9A 

USDA zones are based on minimum winter temperatures


General Comments:

Spicy smell to crushed foliage.

Florida is at the southern end of the range for this species, and the range is likely disjoint with the species occurring in areas where appropriate drainage conditions (seepy) are common.