Virginia Tech Dendrology

common sweetshrub Calycanthaceae Calycanthus floridus L. Listen to the Latin symbol: CAFL22
Leaf: Opposite, simple, oval to elliptical, entire margins, 3 to 6 inches long, smooth dark green above, whitened and pubescent below.
Flower: Dark brownish red, 1 to 2 inches across, numerous sepals and petals, strong strawberry like odor, appearing May to July.
Fruit: Green turning to light brown, somewhat woody at maturity, bell-shaped "capsule", 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, borne on a stalk, matures in late summer early fall, persistent.
Twig: Moderate in texture, brown; swollen at the opposite, U-shaped leaf scars; fragrant when broken, faint ridges or lines often run down from nodes; buds round and hairy, no end bud.
Bark: Light brown, thin and lenticeled, fragrant.
Form: Dense, rounded shrub to 6 feet.
Looks like: sweet shrub - fringetree - buttonbush - American beautyberry
leaf flower fruit twig bark form1 map
Additional Range Information: Calycanthus floridus is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting common sweetshrub.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson