Calycanthus chinensis
Common Name: Chinese sweetshrub 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Calycanthaceae
Native Range: Eastern China
Zone: 6 to 8
Height: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 10.00 feet
Bloom Time: April to June
Bloom Description: Pinkish-white
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Flower: Showy


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers rich, acidic loams. Avoid alkaline soils. Do not allow soils to dry out. May not be reliably winter hardy in the St. Louis area where it should be sited in a protected location.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Calycanthus chinensis, commonly called allspice, is native to China and is closely related to U.S. native Carolina allspice (Calycanthus floridus). It is a dense, rounded deciduous shrub that grows 5-10’ tall with an equal or slightly greater spread. Camellia-like flowers (to 4” diameter) with blush-pink to white outer tepals, yellow inner tepals with maroon markings and a mounded ring of yellow stamens bloom near the shoot ends for a month or more in mid to late spring. Unlike Carolina allspice, its flowers have no fragrance. Glossy, medium green leaves (to 6” long) turn yellow in fall.

Synonomous with Sinocalycanthus chinensis.

Genus name comes from the Greek words kalyx meaning calyx and anthos meaning a flower.

Specific epithet means Chinese.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Specimen or group in shrub borders or wild areas.