Backyard Biodiversity: Spicebush - pollinator plant

Today's pollinator plant is the Spicebush (lindera benzoin). This shrub is part of the "understory" of a forest, meaning it doesn't get as tall as other trees and does best in partial shade.

This plant has a great aromatic smell in the bark, leaves and berries of the plant. There is even a native Kentucky butterfly called the spicebush swallowtail that ONLY eats the leaves of this plant! Male deer will also rub their antlers on this as a type of "perfume" during rut (mating season) in the fall.


In the fall, the leaves turn a beautiful yellow color with bright red berries. Perfect for growing under power lines! We planted five new Spicebush at the Roland St. Alley in Shelby Park this week!

By planting more native plants in our neighborhoods, we can increase the amount of birds and butterflies very easily! This can take the place of any honeysuckle on your property!


Last summer the Beargrass Thunder crew and Rosemary of One Forest Fragment ventured into the Beargrass Creek State Nature Preserve to find spicebush in the wild, and find out what the berries taste like! Click here to read the post, and watch the video below!


Kentucky Food Forest: Tasting Spicebush berries - Special caterpillar & why bucks rub all over these

** PLEASE REMEMBER THAT LEADED GASOLINE WAS ONLY BANNED IN THE 1980s/EARLY 90s. IF YOU LIVE IN DOWNTOWN LOUISVILLE (ESPECIALLY ON ONE-WAYS) YOU WILL HAVE LEAD IN YOUR SOIL. DO NOT EAT ANY PLANT THAT IS NOT IN A RAISED BED OR POT. **

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