Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Lindera benzoin (L.) Blume
- Family: Laurel (Lauraceae)
- Flowering: April-May
- Field Marks: This species is recognized by the distinctive spicy odor of its crushed leaves and its obovate leaves that taper to the base.
- Habitat: Thickets, moist woods, rich woods, along streams, bottomlands.
- Habit: Shrub up to 20 feet tall.
- Stems: Woody, much branched; twigs usually smooth.
- Leaves: Alternate, simple, obovate to oval, pointed at the tip, tapering to the base, without teeth, smooth on the upper surface, smooth or sometimes hairy on the lower surface, up to 5 inches long, up to 2 1/2 inches wide.
- Flowers: Male and female flowers borne on separate plants, yellow, up to 1/8 inch across, spicy-scented.
- Perianth: 6-parted, yellow, free from each other.
- Stamens: 9.
- Pistils: Ovary superior.
- Fruits: Drupes red, ellipsoid, spicy-scented, up to 1/2 inch long.
- Notes: The leaves are often variable in size, with several smaller leaves intermixed with the larger leaves.
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