Lindera angustifolia
Common Name: Oriental spicebush
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Lauraceae
Native Range: China
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 6.00 to 8.00 feet
Spread: 3.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Greenish-yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Colorful, Fragrant, Good Fall
Fruit: Showy
Other: Winter Interest


Easily grown in average, consistently moist but well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers a well-drained sandy soil.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Oriental spicebush is a multi-stemmed deciduous shrub that grows to 6-8' tall and 3-5' wide. It is native to thickets and wooded areas on mountain slopes in China. It is perhaps best noted for its foliage which is attractive year round. Elliptic-lanceolate glossy green leaves (each to 4" long) with silvery undersides provide quality color during the growing season. Leaves turn showy shades of orange-yellow-red in fall. Although fall color eventual fades to a tawny-beige, the leaves remain on the shrub during winter providing additional interest. Some of the winter leaves persist on the shrub into early spring when the greenish-yellow flowers appear (March April). Flowers are followed by black fruits which ripen in fall (September-October).

Common names for this shrub include oriental spicebush (for aromatic leaves) and narrowleaf spicebush (for willow-like leaves). Leaves are processed for aromatic oil (oil used for making soap and machine oil).

Genus name honors Johann Linder (1676-1723), Swedish botanist and physician.


No frequently occurring insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Part shade locations in woodland gardens. Borders. Cottage gardens. Naturalize in meadows or open areas.