Lindera benzoin) This shrub grows in partly-shady areas with moist soils. It's widely distributed in the eastern United States and found throughout southern Michigan.
It blooms in early Spring (mid-March, this year) before the forest leaves have opened. The flowers, while tiny, are bright enough to make an eye-catching display of yellow among the bare branches. Later in the year, it's a host plant for the Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly.
The colorful berries (or drupes) are eaten by many different animals and a mixed flock of birds were feeding on them when I saw these. Apparently people also consume these fruits, using them as a replacement for allspice. People also make tea from the twigs. In 2011, the Herb Society named Spicebush the Native Herb of the Year.
First Wild Orchid of 2018! - May 21 2018 A cold and rainy day is predicted. Marie and I had planned to go out today for an adventure in a swamp. Well, wait just a minute. Rain, swa...
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