Mystery plant 080

This plant is a small native tree which prefers growing in damp woods and along streams in eastern North America.  When you can identify it, share its common and scientific names in a comment.  Also, tell us about any personal connection you may have with this plant.


Flowering branches in spring




Leaves and leaf arrangement


Green fruits (developing seeds)


Ripe fruits


Plant with yellow leaves in fall


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images): Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)

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7 Responses to Mystery plant 080

  1. coleen says:

    Lindera benzoin common name is spicebush

  2. andrew says:

    Spicebush, Lindera benzoin.

    This is the first plant that I ever tried to identify. After moving out to a small wooded farm three years ago, I wondered about the shrubs in the woods with small yellow flowers in very early spring. We have a lot of this in central Kentucky. A hard freeze this past winter caused a lot of die-back in some of the shrubs, with no flowers this past spring, but they have rebounded.

  3. Ellie Tessmer says:

    Spicebush or Lindera benzoin. I have them in my backyard now and enjoy the spicy scent.

  4. Ann WF says:

    This plant, Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), is an important food source for birds preparing to migrate or fatten up for the cold winter season. Its berries are nearly 50% fat.

  5. Val says:

    Spicebush…Lindera benzoin. This was a “must have” for a recently planted butterfly garden since I wanted to the entice Spicebush Butterfly. I was a bit disappointed when the “shrub” I ordered came and was about 6 inches high in April. Amazingly, although it is rather slow-growing, by the end of the season it had actually fostered one Spicebush caterpillar through to become an adult butterfly. It did take all of the leaves produced to do this!!!

  6. DJ Leason says:

    Is this the benzoin that folks tincture to add to infused oils to keep them from going rancid? If so, which parts are tinctured?

  7. Angelyn says:

    Indeed, this is Spicebush (Lindera benzoin). Whenever I come across it during the summer and I hesitate about its identity, I pick a leaf and crush it. When it releases its unique spicy scent, I know it’s Spicebush.

    Thanks for sharing your stories about this plant!

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