Haw Honey

Calycanthus floridus / Sweetshrub (Laurel Family)

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Large burgundy, tropical smelling flowers begin to emerge at about the same time as the glossy green leaves of Sweetshrub do. The unusually formed flowers turn into even more uniquely shaped fruits–you could easily confuse them for something an insect would create to pupate in. Each large brown pod contains numerous richly colored brown seeds. This shrub is naturally found in shady forests, but will flower best in full sun. Morning sun and afternoon shade here in the south may be the best combination. This is a suckering shrub, so be sure to give it plenty of room to run, or be prepared to keep the suckers in check. Leaves turn banana yellow in the fall.
Blooms: Maroon, 3-4 weeks, April-May
Leaves: Dark, glossy green, turn banana yellow in the fall
Height: 6-10’
Space: 6-10’
Soil: Average
Exposure:  Full sun-Light shade
Fauna: Beetles, bees, seeds for small mammals
Seeds: Large, leathery, fig shaped fruit contains multiple, round seeds
Deer Resistance: High
Zone: 5-9
Native Status: NC Native, common in the Piedmont and Mountains , rare in the Coastal Plain
Provenance: Unknown provenance, seed grown