Shrub of the Month: Lindera angustifolia,Oriental spicebush
Posted: December 21, 2012
The tan leaves of Oriental spicebush hang on well into the winter months, providing a nice contrast to evergreens.
The tan foliage of Lindera angustifolia (Oriental spicebush), which remains on the shrub throughout most of the winter, contrasts nicely against an evergreen backdrop.
Oriental spicebush grows will in zones 6 to 8 and performs best in a site that receives a lot of sun, although it can also do well in areas that get some shade. For optimal growth, choose soils that drain well. It is not a plant that is situated for tight spots as it can grow up to 12 feet and about half that distance in spread.
The shrub will flower in early spring but it is not eye-popping as some of our other noteworthy spring plants. Flowers will give way to berries, but only on the female plants as this is dioecious.
While its tan foliage sets it apart in the winter over any other deciduous shrub, it is the precursor to the tan color that makes it a fall favorite. As cooler weather and shorter days advance into the autumn season, the summer green leaves of the spicebush turn into a stunning display of orange and reds. When planted in groupings, the leaves color display from fall through winter makes it a multi-season interest plant.