Scientific name: Lindera benzoin

Crush a leaf. Smell it. Love it.

Features:

  • tolerant of dense shade
  • grows well under black walnut, or beech trees (juglone tolerant)
  • food and host plant for spicebush butterfly
  • leaves can be used to repel mosquitoes (*yet to verify, but it still smells great*)
  • early spring bloomers with yellow flowers that make a great replacement for invasive forsythia
  • deer resistant (though if your deer are desperate, they will eat anything)
  • make tea or spice from all parts of the plant (disclaimer: eat plants at your own risk)
  • smells great

When I first planted these in the yard, the dear chowed down on them. I think deer tolerance applies to older plants – that and combined with the fact that deer in our area are starved and will eat anything.

Why are the deer starving (you might ask)? In areas of high human density, people tend to plant non-native plants that are highly deer resistant and/or poisonous to deer. This creates a food desert for the deer and they will start to eat things they normally wouldn’t.

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