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  1. #1
    [align=left]This shrub has been in the yard...who knows how long!* My great grandparents and grandparents lived here.* We always called this the "salt and pepper bush" because of the wonderful spicy aroma rifts through the breeze when it blooms...dark reddish brown*leathery blossoms.* Any ideas about wht it may be???? Thanks in advance.:)[/align]

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Hi Sassy,

    Unfortunately you don't say where this shrub is located.* I'm thinking you are in the US. * Yu also don't say if this shrub is in sun or shade and if it's evergreen. * I'm going to guess:

    Spicebush - native to US, diffeent species grow in different areas of the US:

    Calycanthus occidentalis - western spice bush
    http://www.calfloranursery.com/pages..._c/calocc.html

    Calycanthus floridus - sweetshrub, Carolina allspice, strawberry shrub, pineapple shrub - native to US and related to above but grows in the SE US.
    http://www.floridata.com/ref/C/caly_flo.cfm
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Im...esc-flower.jpg

    Purple anise - Illicium floridanum native to SE US and is evergreen.
    http://www.nichegardens.com/catalog/item.php?id=1514

    My first thought was the Spicebush.* Is that it? If so, I call them a treasure.
    Newt



  3. #3
    [align=left]I guess I should have told you the location.* [/align]
    [align=left]I live in Southwestern Pennsylvania, Greene County to be exact.* And it is not an evergreen, it's leave drop and it starts over in the spring, right about now it is starting to show a little life.* It will be a while before it blooms...maybe in July.* I just know it smells heavenly.* Every year my sister wants to "cut down that ould bush" and I talk her out of it.[/align]
    [align=left]Sounds like I have a spice bush![/align]
    [align=left]It sends up new shoots a little ways from the main bunch of stems.* Can these be transplanted?[/align]
    [align=left]*[/align]
    [align=left]Thanks,[/align]
    [align=left]Sassy (Suzanne)[/align]

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    You are so lucky to have such a wonderful shrub!* You can prune it after flowering if it looks scraggly to you.* They can be purchased from higher end nurseries, but the fragrance is variable, so if you ever purchase one (there is also a yellow flowered variety), be sure it's in bloom so you can select a fragrant one and enjoy the fragrance.* Another reason you are lucky!* Even growing them from seeds doesn't always produce fragrant offspring.

    If you see sprouts from the parent, dig up a few and transplant them.* They do best in soil that is rich in organic matter, so add lots of compost and mix it in well to the entire planting area, not just the planting hole.* A 3" or 4" layer of compost mixed in would be good.*

    They grow taller in shade.* In the wild they tend to look unkempt and scraggley.* I suspect that is how yours looks.* Can you post a picture?* Maybe I can give you some guidance on pruning to make it look better so your sister can apprecate it too!* Best to prune after flowering.

    You could also collect the seeds in December, sow them in pots and sink the pots into the ground for the winter.* You should get some to sprout.

    Newt

  5. #5
    [align=left]You're right,*my spice bush is unkempt.* We live in a rural area and*it*is at what was the outer edge of the lawn.* It really doesn't matter since it's not close to anything and out in the full sun.* As kids we played under it.* Birds seem to like it, too.* Often we find more that one nest at the same time...they are not always the same types of birds.[/align]

    [align=left]About 10 years back, I sold a piece of property to my sister, she built a home next door to me.* Now our spice bush is out in the middle of the lawn, between our homes.* I love it and want her to leave it alone, even though it has a huge elderberry growing right in the middle of it.* We pick the berries and make jelly.* I guess I'll just have to keep defending and protecting it.* [/align]

    [align=left]I cannot post a picture at this time.* But the spice bush is large, I'd say 8 to 10 feet across.* [/align]

    [align=left]I am interested in not only transplanting but trying to start new plants from the seeds.* My mom will love hearing all this info.....she wants to get a start of it for her new home.[/align]

    [align=left]Thanks so much, (Sassy) Suzanne[/align]

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    Maryland zone 7
    Posts
    3,042
    Sassy, I loved reading about the history of your bush.**** You can 'renewal prune' your shrub.* Here's how.
    http://www.mortonarb.org/res/CLINIC_...ningShrubs.pdf

    Newt

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