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.
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.