Calycanthus occidentalis


Plant Type: Shrub, Tree
Sun: Partial Shade
Drainage: Adaptable
Water: Occasional, Regular
Height X Width: 15' X 12'
Santa Clara County Local: No
What do these mean?



Spice bush is one of California’s moisture loving natives. It occurs in wet places throughout the northern coastal ranges, Cascades and the Sierra Nevada. Spice bush grows as a dense round shrub with rich green leaves. In mid-spring the large red flowers appear in waves for about a month or so. The individual flowers decline rather quickly but others open to replace them. The scent of the flowers is interesting, reminiscent of slightly fermented grape juice. In hotter areas, spice bush will appreciate some protection from the sun in the afternoon. The leaves may burn slightly with too much heat and sun. Spice bush grows slowly for the first several years but – like many California natives – accelerates after several years. Deciduous.


Deer Resistant: Yes
Attractive to Bees: Yes
Attractive to Butterflies: Yes
Good Under Oaks: Yes
Evergreen or Deciduous: Deciduous