• AGM plants

    AGM plants have been through a rigorous trial and assessment programme. They are:

    • Excellent for ordinary use in appropriate conditions
    • Available to buy
    • Of good constitution
    • Essentially stable in form & colour
    • Reasonably resistant to pests & diseases

Calycanthus floridus

Carolina allspice

  • Other common names Carolina allspice
    strawberry shrub

  • Synonyms Calycanthus sterilis

  • Family Calycanthaceae

  • Genus Calycanthus are deciduous shrubs with simple, aromatic leaves and solitary, fragrant flowers in summer

  • Details Calycanthus floridus is also known as the spicebush. It is a dense, spreading, bushy and sometimes suckering deciduous specimen shrub, bearing oblong to oval dark green to yellow leaves with hairy undersides. Dark brownish-red calyx-like strappy-petalled very fragrant flowers are borne at the ends of short branchlets in May. The fragrance is described as combining hints of pineapple, strawberry and banana. Urn-shaped fruit capsules follow flowers and persist throughout the winter.

  • Plant range SE USA


  • Foliage Deciduous

  • Habit Bushy

  • Fragrance Flower

  • Toxicity All parts highly toxic if ingested

  • Hardiness

    Hardiness ratings

    All ratings refer to the UK growing conditions unless otherwise stated. Minimum temperature ranges (in degrees C) are shown in brackets

    • H1a - Under glass all year (>15C)
    • H1b - Can be grown outside in the summer (10 - 15)
    • H1c - Can be grown outside in the summer (5 - 10)
    • H2 - Tolerant of low temperatures, but not surviving being frozen (1 to 5)
    • H3 - Hardy in coastal and relatively mild parts of the UK (-5 to 1)
    • H4 - Hardy through most of the UK (-10 to -5)
    • H5 - Hardy in most places throughout the UK even in severe winters (-15 to -10)
    • H6 - Hardy in all of UK and northern Europe (-20 to -15)
    • H7 - Hardy in the severest European continental climates (< -20)




  • Full Sun

  • Partial Shade

  • Aspect North-facing or South-facing or East-facing or West-facing

  • Exposure Sheltered


  • Chalk


  • Clay


  • Loam


  • Sand


  • MoistureMoist but well-drained, Well-drained

  • SoilChalk, Clay, Loam, Sand

  • pHAcid, Alkaline, Neutral


  • Ultimate height 2.5-4 metres

  • Ultimate spread 2.5-4 metres

  • Time to ultimate height 5-10 years

How to grow

Cultivation Prefers moderately fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in partial shade where it grows taller, but tolerates a wide range of soil conditions and some sun. Shelter from cold, drying winds. Autumn colour is better in its native habitat.

Propagation Propagate by softwood cuttings

Suggested planting locations and garden types Flower borders and beds Wall-side Borders Architectural City & Courtyard Gardens Cottage & Informal Garden Wildlife Gardens

How to care

Pruning Prune immediately after flowering to shape and maintain size. Remove root suckers promptly. Tends to form colonies in the wild.

Pests Generally pest-free. Tolerates deer

Diseases Generally disease-free

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