Lindera benzoin





  • native to Maine down through Florida
  • hardy to zone 4

Habit and Form

  • a rounded, deciduous shrub
  • loose, open form 8' to 12' tall
  • equal width
  • medium texture
  • slow growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • obovate leaf shape
  • 3.5" to 5" long
  • up to 2" wide
  • entire leaf margins
  • light green leaf color

Autumn Foliage

  • yellow to golden yellow fall color
  • showy


  • small, yellow flowers
  • blooms early spring
  • somewhat showy


  • scarlet, oval drupe
  • 0.5" in diameter
  • matures in September


  • slender, greenish, brown stems
  • lenticels
  • aromatic when broken


  • transplanted from containers
  • full sun to partial shade
  • prefers moist, well-drained soil

Landscape Use

  • border
  • naturalizing
  • for flower effect
  • fall color


  • no serious problems

ID Features

  • small superposed buds
  • stalked flower buds
  • no terminal buds
  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • small, yellow flowers in early spring
  • scarlet, oval drupes


  • by seed


Though rarely available, the special forms of this native are nonetheless notable.

'Green Gold' - A non-fruiting form, this plant is notable for its very large, ornamental yellow blooms.

'Rubra' (also known as f. rubra) - This non-fruiting form is notable for its deep red-brown blooms.

'Xanthocarpa' (also known as f. xanthocarpa) - Discovered at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston, this unique form has orange-yellow fruit.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

The digital materials (images and text) available from the UConn Plant Database are protected by copyright. Public use via the Internet for non-profit and educational purposes is permitted. Use of the materials for profit is prohibited.

Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.