Hardy, North American shrub
Description: Deep maroon, sweetly fragrant flowers in late spring
Habit: Grows to 7 feet tall and 10 feet across
Culture: Prefers full sun or light shade and rich, evenly moist, garden loam
Hardiness: Cold hardy to USDA Zone 5
Origin: North America
Attributes: Deer resistant
This handsome shrub, native to the southeastern United States, was introduced in 1726. Its other common names include: Bubby Flower, Carolina Allspice, Sweet Betsy, and Strawberry Bush, in reference to the flowers’ strawberry-like fragrance. Thomas Jefferson first recorded planting “19 Bubby flower shrubs, calycanthus” at Monticello March 7, 1778. The plants, thought to be rare in Virginia, had been collected from the Green Mountains in southwestern Albemarle County. He went on to write: “they are said to be very common in So. Carolina.” He planted more in 1794, 1812, and 1815, and shipped plants as gifts to Madame de Tessé in Paris. Today, Sweet Shrubs thrive along the winding flower walk and are scattered through the lower grove at Monticello, where they are not attractive to browsing deer.
This plant will ship bare root. Two year seedling is approximately 18-24" tall.
Bare root planting tips:
~ If you can't plant immediately, store your plant in a cool location and keep the roots moist or pot in a container with a nursery potting mix from your local garden center.
~ Before planting, let the roots soak for several hours as you prepare the site. You'll want to dig a large enough hole so the root mass can spread out and the plant is at the same soil level as when it was growing in the nursery.
~ Once planted, water it in well and wait a month before fertilizing. Mulching will help to maintain moisture and raise soil temperatures for faster growth.