Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume

  • Family: Lauraceae (laurel)
  • Common name: spicebush

    Shrub to 5 m (16 ft) tall. Twigs gray, glabrous. Leaves alternate, thin, usually glabrous, obovate, acuminate, ciliate-margined, 6-14 cm (2.4-5.5 in) long and 2.5-6 cm (1-2.4 in) wide. Flowers in umbellate axillary clusters, about 2 mm (0.1 in) long, yellow, appearing in early Spring before the leaves. Fruits drupes, shiny red (rarely yellow) when ripe, 1-2 cm long, maturing in Fall.

    Distribution: Native to about the eastern third of the U. S.
    Habitat: Usually floodplain forests.
    NWI status: FACW-
    Comment: Lindera honors the Swedish physician John Linder; benzoin denotes a resemblance, in odor, to the resin of the old-world tree Styrax benzoin.

    Distribution in Oklahoma:

    Last update: 9/14/99
    Go to Oklahoma Biological Survey Home Page