This plant has good, yellow fall color. I store the berries whole until I’m ready to use them. As long as the fruit is red, it’s good to harvest. I love sassafras root tea, but I’ve never used spicebush root. South East Canada to Central & Eastern U.S.A. Lindera benzoin is a larval host for serval species of butterflies, including Spicebush Swallowtail, Promethea silkmoth, and Eastern Tiger Swallowtail. The green caterpillars have large, black, fake "eye" markings that scare away predators. In October its foliage turns bright yellow. Lindera benzoin ‘Green Gold’ is a male cultivator that is characterized by large ornamental flowers. Also a host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly. Bark of Spice Bush, Lindera Benzoin. But very few realize that the pretty red fruit is an outstanding spice that brightens up both sweet and savory dishes. Fruits are eaten by songbirds, especially during fall migration. But I take some twigs, grind in the coffee grinder and add to warm ice cream base. I think the same powder would also work really well in a spice cake recipe. After enjoying the extraordinary flavor of the berries, the subtle flavor of the twigs an leaves just doesn’t do it for me. While male plants flaunt light-yellow flowers in early spring, the female plants make brilliant red fruits in early fall if accompanied by a male bush. Uses, Benefits, Cures, Side Effects, Nutrients in Lindera Benzoin. If you don’t have a dehydrator, could you do this in the oven? I’m excited to hear how you use the twigs in ice cream; I’ll definitely try it. For reference, this trunk was about 3/4″ diameter Leaves. Form: Shrub: Life Span: Long-lived perennial: Flower Color: Yellow: Fruit Color: Red: Phenology: Deciduous: Noted for: Aroma, Fragrance, Showy fruits, Interesting foliage Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating. Spicebush, named for its spicy, fragrant leaves and stems, is native to moist woodlands in the Midwest and occasionally occur in the Chicago area. How to use Lindera benzoin in the landscape Spicebush is ideal for naturalistic plantings, shrub borders, woodland gardens, and for mass plantings along streams and ponds. The American spicebush has a long history of medicinal and culinary uses, as its many names would indicate. I won’t say anything about digging up 20 shrubs from the forest. Pick the berries as soon as they turn red. In October its foliage turns bright yellow. A sunny placement will produce a denser, more compact form, as well as better blooms and fall color. I can’t speak for Keith, but I tend to use two different kinds of ice cream bases, either an egg custard base ( or a cornstarch/corn syrup base ( The underside of the leaf will be white-green, or pale green. Extracts have been used for drugs, including anti-arthritic, diaphoretic, emetic and herbal steam. Leaves are aromatic (spicy fragrance) when crushed. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Then just follow the recipe- strain, cool overnight and churn. It’s perfectly nice, but nothing to write home about. Yeah, I’ve tried the leaves in tea and also thought it was too mild I felt inspired today so I went to the woods and picked some spicebush twigs. Spice bush has a wide range of uses as a household remedy, especially in the treatment of colds, dysentery and intestinal parasites [222, 238]. Spicebush ice cream is superb on its own and even better with pumpkin pie. I then ground the twigs into a powder. It spreads readily by root suckers, forming dense colonies. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I added some potting soil to the holes I dug to help them with the transplant. Female plants produce showy red fruit. Other common names: Spicebush, Spicewood, Benjamin Bush, Northern Spicebush. I’ve heard people describe it as tasting like a mix of allspice and pepper, but to me, the flavor defies description. You’ll need only one male for pollination (it can pollinate several females), but stock up on the lady plants. I’ve heard some people say that they separate the two parts; that the flavor of the flesh resembles that of allspice and that of the seed resembles that of black pepper. Try it for yourself and see. Edward F. Gilman 2. They appreciate its delicate, yellow spring flowers (which open when the skunk cabbage starts coming up) and bright yellow fall foliage. We sometimes add the same powder to hot chocolate. The benzoin of drug trade is produced by species of Styrax(Styraceae). Lindera benzoin Conservation status Secure Scientific classification Kingdom: Plantae Clade: Tracheophytes Clade: Angiosperms Clade: Magnoliids Order: Laurales Family: Lauraceae Genus: Lindera Species: L. benzoin Binomial name Lindera benzoin L. Range within North America Synonyms Benzoin aestivale Nees Lindera benzoin is a shrub in the laurel family, native to eastern North America, ranging from Maine and New York to Ontario in the north, and to Kansas, Texas, and northern Florida i… It has dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), with the male flowers being larger and showier than the female ones. When they were blended, I put them in an electric coffee grinder. Because of its habitat in rich woods, early land surveyors and. Mature Height/spread: a rounded, deciduous shrub, open form 8′ to 12′ tall, equal width. Its graceful, slender branches are studded with dense umbel-like clusters of sweetly fragrant, tiny, pale yellow flowers in early-mid spring. This plant also supports Spicebush Swallowtail (Papilio troilus) larvae which have 2 generations per year from April-October. Ground spicebush berries and sugar make the perfect rim for a frozen persimmon margarita. A lovely harbinger of spring, Lindera benzoin (Spice Bush) is a medium to tall, multi-stemmed, rounded, deciduous shrub noted for its early flowers, red berries, and excellent fall color. Your email address will not be published. Lindera benzoin is also known as “spicewood,” “wild allspice,” “fever bush,” “Benjamin Bush” and “snap-wood,” in addition to spicebush. Spicebush tea can be made from fresh or dried leaves and twigs. Strain out the twigs and you are left with the best tasting ice cream on the planet- a combination of citrus, nutmeg and cinnamon. An understory shrub, Lindera benzoin is typically found in lowlands, in rich soil that is consistently moist. A spicebush dry rub is great with chicken or pork. Read our Commitment to Diversity | Read our Privacy Statement. Old aromatic. It is pleasant to chew. The leaves are alternate with a smooth margin. Spicebush, Wild Allspice, Northern Spicebush, Benjamin Bush. In PA, there’s no fruit left at all, fresh or dried. I know some people enjoy a tea made from the twigs and leaves, but as I said in the article, to me it tastes merely pleasant. Not a bad flavor, just not the best. Cooperative Extension prohibits discrimination and harassment on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), disability, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, and veteran status. This won’t cost you a penny, but the teeny tiny bit I earn will help offset the expenses of maintaining this website. Thanks! Peggy, I dry the entire berry and grind it all up for a spice. Zones: 4-7. Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours). Like holly, spicebush is a dioecious shrub, which means male and female flowers are borne on separate plants., A drupe, scarlet red spicy scented fruit in late Summer/early Fall (August-September) 1/2' wide. I’ll just assume you had permission! It grows 6-12 feet high with a similar spread and generally rounded in outline. The reason to leave in for the 10 minutes is to get the ground twig powder to swell up enough to strain out when you put through a strainer. Fresh berries can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week but I prefer to use mine dried. The reason I start with the blender is just to get the twigs small enough to easily fit into my grinder. This will be my first time trying to use berries from our spicebushes. This plant is dieocious, which means female fruit sets need male pollinator plants to reproduce. I dry them indoors on a baking sheet (which I also do with elderberries), stirring them around a couple times a day to expose all sides to the air. Fifth instar spicebush swallowtail caterpillar. It will however tolerate wet or dry soil. Spicebush berries, on the other hand, will knock your frickin’ socks off. Some blog posts here include links to products on Amazon. Uses (Ethnobotany): Essential oils from this plants leaves, twigs, and fruits, have been used in teas. In nature, spicebush is an understory plant. It warrants scientific investigation. If you can’t forage for spicebush berries near you, you can order it online from Integration Acres. Pruning . Spicebush, Lindera benzoin, is an easily overlooked native shrub that has a place in the modern garden because of its role as a companion plant for swallowtail butterflies. ), the roots of your transplants will linger in the potting soil where life is easy, rather than expanding out into the native soil, which may be rocky or clay. Lindera benzoin ‘Xandthocarpa’ is a female cultivator that is characterized by yellow-orange berries. Lindera benzoin is a larval host to the spicebush swallowtail butterfly. I couldn’t do without mine! Would you share how long you let the ground twigs sit in the ice cream base? Lindera benzoin – Spicebush $ 15.00. The flavor is great and something you can’t buy at any store. But the flavor is great- warm, spicy and unique. The red fruit, if not taken by great crested flycatcher, veery, wood thrush, red-eyed vireo and the like, is much more visible following leaf drop. The fragrant fruits are sometimes dried and used in sachets. It’s an excellent, low maintenance plant for a permaculture garden, but if you’re going to plant it, we should probably talk about sex. Your email address will not be published. That’s my polite way of saying meh. This does two things: concentrates the flavor and prolongs their shelf life. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Lindera benzoin is a multi-stemmed, irregularly rounded understory shrub that reaches 6-12’ tall with foliage and stems that are aromatic when bruised. Caterpillars of the spicebush swallowtail butterfly (Papilio troilus) use this species for food. There were plenty of spice bush shrubs in the swamp area there, but I could not spot any of the berries on a shrub. To dry spicebush berries, how long do you dry them, and what temperature? Spicebush Berries, aka Lindera Benzoin July 9, 2017 I just got back from a recon hike, checking on the wineberries (not quite ready), wood nettles (past their prime), and bee balm (perfect) and I was happy to discover a new stand of spicebush, aka Lindera benzoin, to add to my mental map. I love that it can be harvested all year round. Spicebush is a deciduous shrub that may grow to 8 to 15 feet that can be found in rich forests, dry forests on slopes, and swamps. Sorry I can’t be more helpful! Hope that helps! If the composition of your native soil is very different from that of the potting soil (and in PA it probably is! In early spring, small, yellow flowers mature in axillary clusters. Identification, traditional uses, and an excellent spicebush ice cream recipe are featured in this introduction to foraging for spicebush, Lindera benzoin. I love the taste of spicebush twigs in ice cream. It is most often used in landscapes in shrub borders and naturalized areas. Required fields are marked *. A friend of mine makes tea from spice bush leaves. Lindera benzoin is easy to propagate from seed. The central trunk (if present) and larger branches are rather slender; their bark is brown, shiny, and sparsely covered with small white lenticels. The plant is native to eastern North America, ranging from New York to Ontario in the north, and to Kansas, Texas, and northern Florida in the center and south. Worth a trip into the woods. If you like the flavor of the twigs, I’d use them fresh when you can, and dry some to use when you can’t get them fresh. To me, though, the flavor of the berries are just ok- oily, waxy flavor of nutmeg, pepper, cardamom and bay leaves. If you want more flavor, just add more powder before straining. I took them home, rinsed and tossed into the Vitamix. Spicebush berries are one of my favorite flavors, but I know taste is highly subjective. The benzoin of drug trade is produced by species of Styrax (Styraceae). The leaves are alternate, oblong-obovate, 3-5 inch long and bright green in summer. The fragrant fruits are sometimes dried and used in sachets. Ellen Zachos is a forager and horticulturist who is passionate about wild food and drink. Do you let the twigs dry first or use fresh? I won’t be back east until April, so I’ll have to wait to try your recipe, but you can rest assured I will, because it sounds fantastic. The bark is aromatic, astringent, diaphoretic, febrifuge, stimulant and tonic [61, 149, 227, 257]. I just got back from a recon hike, checking on the wineberries (not quite ready), wood nettles (past their prime), and bee balm (perfect) and I was happy to discover a new stand of spicebush, aka Lindera benzoin, to add to my mental map. Prop you oven door open to lower the temperature, then keep a close eye on the fruit because it will dry fast. I also add about a teaspoon of vanilla to the mix. Settlers … How long and at what temperature would you dehydrate them in the oven? After blooming, spicebush fades into the woodland and comes to the forefront again in fall with dazzling yellow foliage. Keith!, I love the sound of this! Personally, I love the flavor of both parts together, so that’s what I do. It takes a lot longer for me when I dry them in PA than when I dry them in NM! N.C. Thanks! Because the twigs are ground, the flavor transfers quickly. Along the branches there will be alternate leaves that are 3-5″ long, and 2-3″ wide. The Spice bush has clusters of tiny, apetalous, aromatic, greenish-yellow flowers that bloom along the branches in early spring before the foliage emerges (March-April). How long that takes will depend on the ambient humidity where you live. Medicinal Uses: American Indians made a tea from the bark of Lindera benzoinor spicebush as a “blood purifier” and for sweating, colds, rheumatism and anemia. Next time, don’t add potting soil to the plants’ holes. form a strategic partnership called N.C. It has a mild, chai flavor that is pleasant hot or iced. I’ve used the berries, leaves, and stems, but never the root. There’s a wide range of dehydrators available out there, may under $50. With sweetly aromatic foliage that turns yellow in the fall, this plant is a good choice for shady, moist or wet places in the garden. And spicebush snickerdoodle cookies are deliciously hard to describe. I dehydrate the fruit, then keep it in the freezer. Lindera benzoin commonly known as Spicebush is a flowering plant in the family Lauraceae. Spicebush, (Lindera benzoin) is a flowering shrub native to Eastern North America that provides great benefit to wildlife as a nectar source for pollinators, forage for mammals, and fruit for birds.Growing in full shade to full sun in moist areas, it is a common understory tree in the wild. I dry them in a dehydrator at 95F until they’re black and completely dry. Where I forage in NE PA the berries have started to dry on the shrubs by mid-October. Larger leaves are shaped like a long oval. This plant is sensitive to heat and drought. This plant supports Palamedes Swallowtail (Papilio palamedes) larvae which has two flights from March-December with a partial 3rd flight in the South. The shrub produces a bright red drupe with a peppery taste and scent. Spicebush dram is a superior liqueur. Again, heat and then strain out the powder or it can get gritty. Both produce attractive flowers and fall foliage, but only the females have edible berries. It's drupes are very attractive, but are largely hidden by the foliage until the leaves drop. It’s spicy, complex, dark, has a little heat, and there’s something floral in there, too. If fruit is your goal (and if you’re reading this, it probably is), buy your shrubs in fall, when berries will be evident and you can tell who is who. Spicebush is a shrubby tree — five to ten feet-tall (and often wider than tall) — which has a great many attributes, beginning with its wonderfully spicy-citrusy aromatic foliage. This often leads to roots circling the tree, rather than establishing a wide, anchoring root ball. Female plants need a male pollinator in order to set fruit (scarlet red), however. She loves it, but I find it far too mild to be interesting. Notice I said pleasant. Lindera benzoin. Or, if you live someplace dry (like I do!) What do you think? Latin: Lindera benzoin. They are all 3-6 feet tall. NC State University and N.C. A&T State University work in tandem, along with federal, state and local governments, to Spicebush is a medium-sized shrub, native to most of eastern North America. Spicebush is a deciduous shrub with a broad, rounded habit which typically grows 6-12′ (less frequently to 15′) high in moist locations in bottomlands, woods, ravines, valleys and along streams. I’m surprised you found red berries this late. I found a patch of Spice Bushes in the forest near me and transplanted about 20 of them to my yard this week, they are easy to spot now. Lindera benzoin is a native shrub with many attributes. Bright red fruits ripen from July through October on female plants, but are only showy once the foliage falls off. Once the base has thickened and is off the heat, I added maybe 2 large teaspoons of the spicebush powder and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Flowers emerge in early to … A large shrub, reaching a 10 foot height and spread, spicebush is so named because of its pleasing aroma when bruised (Fig. I make sassafras’s tea from the root and was wondering if I can use spicewood root the same way? Spicebush is a deciduous, multiple-stemmed twiggy shrub growing 6 to 8 feet tall that belongs to the laurel family. The Spice bush has thick, alternate, oblong-obovate, light green leaves (to 5" long) turn an attractive yellow in autumn. Cooperative Extension, which staffs local offices in all 100 counties and with the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Fall color is a lovely yellow to gold. The twigs and leaves are aromatic and Native Americans have been known to use the dried fruits of this plant as a spice, and the leaves of this plant for tea. I’ve come to depend on spicebush berries in so many recipes. Partial shade is best, but for maximum fall color and berries, and for the nicest shape, be sure your site gets some sun. The flowers of female plants give way to bright red drupes. They call it Appalachian Allspice, and once you taste it, you’re going to want more! How Lindera Benzoin is effective for various diseases is listed in repertory format. Enter your email address and I'll send you notifications of new posts. I’ve never seen that! Names of Lindera Benzoin in various languages of the world are also given. I use the ice cream base listed above. Photo by Cure Nursery. Lindera benzoin Spicebush 1. Native Americans have been known to use the dried fruits of this plant as a spice, and the leaves of this plant for tea. Spice Bush (Lindera benzoin)- Spice bush is a large, multi-stemmed shrub that could be used to create a border. And sometimes you can get great deals on Craig’s List. HOME > Blog > Spicebush Berries, aka Lindera Benzoin. been doing it for decades and it works fine for me here in Pennsylvania. The berries had no flaws, so I doubt a bird carried them. After drying, I keep them in the freezer, whole, then grind just before using. Herb: Spice Bush Latin name: Lindera benzoin Synonyms: Benzoin aestivale, Laurus benzoin Family: Lauraceae (Laurel Family) Medicinal use of Spice Bush: Spice bush has a wide range of uses as a household remedy, especially in the treatment of colds, dysentery and intestinal parasites. The spicebush’s drupes are an important food source for Passerine and Phasianidae, especially during fall migration. Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window). (Mostly spicebush grows where it’s humid, so this may not be an option for you.) Some astute gardeners use it as an ornamental. It grows best in part shade, and you’ll find it under beeches, oaks, and maples. Two of my favorite dessert recipes for spicebush are spicebush macarons and acorn baklava with spicebush berries. The adult butterflies feed on nectar from flowers like sweet pepperbush, thistles, blue flag, and azalea. Because of its habitat in rich woods, early land surveyors and settlers used spicebush … The fruit matures in the fall. I cannot praise the flavor highly enough. If you dry spicebush berries and grind them for spice, do you remove the seeds before dehydrating or is the seed(s) ground with the berry for spice? Thanks so much for sharing. I’d feel culinarily lost if I didn’t know I had dried spicebush berries in the freezer. Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant is susceptible to laurel wilt. Essential oils from this plants leaves, twigs, and fruits, have been used in teas. White-tailed deer will browse twigs and leaves. Spicebush berries are wonderful with apples and pears in cobblers and pies; I rarely use cinnamon and nutmeg any more. Collect fruit in the fall and remove the fleshy red coating. I hope I have some Females Some of the smaller ones I combined to make a larger bush. List of various diseases cured by Lindera Benzoin. The base will taste like the finished ice cream. I am in Western Pa. Hi Brad, You didn’t ask for my advice, but I’m going to give it to you anyway! Lindera benzoin is the dominant understory species within our plot and is often found under L. tulipifera. 1/29/2018 I happened upon a few red berries at Pruyn Sanctuary in Westchester County. Lindera Benzoin, also known as the Northern Spice Bush, are fragrant trees that will add some color and flair to your shaded areas. Only on the ground, only singly, and far apart from one another. Introduction. Keith, I’ve tried both and honestly I won’t bother with twigs and leaves (either fresh or dried) in the future. 1). Leaves produce a spicy odor when crushed. Yes, but most ovens don’t go lower than 170F, and that’s a little hot for dehydration. you may be able to dehydrate outdoors, placing a single layer of fruit between two screens. Both the Vitamix and the coffee grinder have no problem grinding the twigs. as a spice and the leaves for tea. The only red berries I see out there are barberries and the occasional rose hip. The exact dates will vary with your location, but they generally ripen in early fall, and stay on the plant for several months. settlers used spicebush as an indicator species for good agricultural land. Spicebush Lindera benzoin Laurel family (Lauraceae) Description: This woody shrub is about 5-15' tall and much branched. While shorter leaves are more round. Adult Spicebush Swallowtail butterflies feed on nectar from Japanese honeysuckle, jewelweed, thistles, milkweed, azalea, dogbane, lantana, mimosa, and sweet pepperbush. So if you think you’re going to get more into this whole food preservation thing, it’s probably worth buying a dehydrator. The bark is brown to gray-brown and speckled with light-colored lenticels.