Calycanthus occidentalis

Apologies about the breaks in BPotD the last week or so. A few work-related things have crept up that have been somewhat exhausting, so other tasks suffer. Anyway, here’s an attempt to get back on track.

Thank you to James G. aka J.G. in S.F.@Flickr of San Francisco, California for sharing today’s photograph (original via the Flickr BPotD Group Pool). Much appreciated!

Calycanthus occidentalis, or California spicebush, is a close relative to the Chinese Sinocalycanthus chinensis featured on BPotD a few years ago. The Calycanthaceae are distributed in eastern Asia, southwest and southeast North America, and Queensland, Australia. Calycanthus occidentalis, as suggested by its common name, is native to California. There is also record of a disjunct population growing in Washington, but mention of those plants isn’t found in the references I usually use for Washington state. Curious.

More photographs of Calycanthus occidentalis are available via CalPhotos. You can also read about some plant breeding work with the genus occurring at North Carolina State University: Re-inventing Sweetshrubs at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research Station.

Calycanthus occidentalis

8 responses to “Calycanthus occidentalis”

  1. Barbara Lamb

    Good to have you back – I was having BPotD withdrawal symptoms!

  2. Mickey

    Your great photos, like this one of the California spicebush, is so wonderful. They always cheer me up. Thank you for taking time out of your very busy schedule to do the Photo of the Day for us. You’ve mentioned elsewhere that this PoD was initially a pilot idea but it would be awesome if you decide to keep it. If you ever wonder whether we, your fans, appreciate the effort & appreciate you — WE DO!!

  3. Fiona Henderson

    I agree whole-heartedly with the comments above. I discovered your Photo of the Day site while working on a tropical garden in Spain and now that I’m back in NZ I love getting daily images of plants both familiar and new to me – long may it continue!

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    i agree with the all the comments
    the picture is so pretty and so clear
    hope you find some help for yourself
    i live in florida for the past nights
    the thunder and lighting capital kept
    this computer off line

  5. CZ

    Does this species have edible berries like the east coast “spicebush”? Is it a coincidental overlap of common names?

  6. J

    We truly appreciate the time you take to run & maintain this great site, Daniel! NO pressure – so don’t stress getting the BPoD out on time!

  7. Denis

    I have one growing in my yard. It has grown quite well for me in NW Oregon and is a great landscape plant. However, the scent of the flowers is not quite pleasant, nor is it terribly unpleasant. It smells quite a bit like a glass of red wine that was left out overnight.

  8. Chris

    I have one growing in my front yard in Seattle (Ravenna neigborhood). It was here when I moved in. It’s hard to believe it’s a native.
    I really like the red wine smell, but I’m sure it’s not for everybody.

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