Lindera aggregata var. aggregata
Common Name: spice bush
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Lauraceae
Native Range: Southeast Asia
Zone: 6 to 9
Height: 12.00 to 16.00 feet
Spread: 4.00 to 6.00 feet
Bloom Time: March to April
Bloom Description: Yellow
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Fragrant, Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 6-9 where it is easily grown in average, consistently moist but well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers a well-drained sandy soil.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Lindera aggregata var. aggregata, commonly known as lindera, is an aromatic evergreen shrub or small tree of the laurel family that is native to sunny mountain slopes, open forested areas, shrubby thickets and valleys in southeastern China, Taiwan, Viet Nam and the Philippine Islands. It typically matures to 12-16’ tall spreading to 6’ wide. This species features alternate, narrow-ovate to lanceolate, aromatic (when crushed or bruised), evergreen leaves (to 2.5” long) which are shiny green above and pale green beneath. Each leaf has three prominent veins. Young branchlets are blue-green, longitudinally striate, and densely golden sericeous or laxly pubescent. Mature bark is gray-brown.

This shrub-tree is dioecious (male and female flowers on separate plants), meaning that fruits will never appear on female plants unless both male and female plants are grown together. Star-shaped yellow flowers are apetalous (without petals). Male flowers have six petaloid sepals. Tiny female flowers are seldom observed. Flowers bloom in early spring (March-April) in small clusters at the leaf axils. Pollinated female flowers give way to clustered berry-like fruits (single one-seeded drupes to 3/8”) which are ovate to subrounded. Fruits mature in fall.

Uncommonly found in U.S. southern gardens.

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

Specific epithet comes from the Latin word aggregatus meaning grouped or clustered in reference to the axillary flowers.

Problems

No frequently occurring insect or disease problems.

Garden Uses

Best in part shade locations of woodland gardens, woodland margins, partially shaded informal areas of the landscape. Shrub borders. Cottage gardens. Naturalize in meadows or open areas.