Calycanthus 'Venus'
Common Name: Carolina allspice 
Type: Deciduous shrub
Family: Calycanthaceae
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 5.00 to 7.00 feet
Spread: 5.00 to 7.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to July
Bloom Description: White with purple and yellow center markings
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Suggested Use: Naturalize
Flower: Showy, Fragrant, Good Cut
Tolerate: Deer, Clay Soil


Easily grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Tolerates close to full shade. Grows somewhat taller in shade than in sun. Tolerant of a wide range of soils, including clay, but prefers rich moist loams. Prune immediately after flowering to shape or maintain compactness. Remove root suckers promptly if naturalization is not desired.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Calycanthus is a genus of three species of deciduous shrubs, two native to North America and one native to China. The blooms of the North American species are highly fragrant. All species have aromatic leaves and stems when crushed.

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

Plants in the genus Calycanthus are commonly called sweetshrub or strawberry bush in reference to the fragrant blooms which are often described as combining hints of pineapple, strawberry and banana.

'Venus' is a dense, rounded, medium-sized, multi-stemmed, non-fruiting, deciduous hybrid which typically grows to 5-7' tall with an equal or slightly greater spread. Very fragrant (fruity aroma of strawberries and melons according to patent documents) magnolia-like flowers (to 3-4" diameter) with white strap-like petals bloom in May with some sporadic continued bloom in June and July. Each flower has contrasting purple and yellow center markings. Elliptic to ovate, glossy, medium green leaves (to 6" long) turn golden yellow to brownish yellow in fall. 'Venus' is a complex hybrid derived from a controlled pollination using the following three species: Calycanthus florida (Carolina allspice), Calycanthus occidentalis (California sweetshrub) and Calycanthus chinensis (Chinese wax shrub formerly known as Sinocalycanthus chinensis). Plant patent PP15925 was issued on August 23, 2005.


No serious insect or disease problems. Deer tend not to severely damage these plants.


Specimen near front door, patio or other living areas where the fragrant flower aroma may be enjoyed. Shrub borders. Foundations. Native plant areas. Suitable for use in fresh cut arrangements.