Explore Plants

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
    
 

Can't find the answer in our existing FAQs, submit a question to Mr. Smarty Plants.
Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

rate this answer
1 rating

Wednesday - April 25, 2012

From: Old Saybrook, CT
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification, Shrubs
Title: Identity of shrub with brownish flowers called cinnamon bush
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

When I lived in Vernon, CT, my neighbor had a small shrub/tree approximately 5 ft tall with small ovate slightly serrated leaves. In spring it produced reddish brown flowers that were of a hardened paper consistency that had a spicy scent. The flowers lasted a long time and dried on the shrub. He called it a cinnamon bush. It does not seem to match any of the descriptions you currently have as it does not have yellow flowers. I would like to know the name of this shrub and where I may be able to obtain a specimen.

ANSWER:

There is a good chance that the shrub you are interested in is not native to North America.  If so, it is going to be harder for me to locate since the Wildflower Center's focus and expertise are with plants native to North America.   However, here are a couple of native possibilities:

1.  Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub or Carolina allspice) fits your description fairly well.

 Here are more photos from:

2.  Asimina triloba (Pawpaw) has flowers that resemble those you describe, but not the scent.

 

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

More Plant Identification Questions

Dyes from native North American plants
November 29, 2012 - Dear Mr. Smarty Plants, I have been working as a textile designer for many years and am now interested in harvesting native North American plants in order to create natural dyes. Which plant ...
view the full question and answer

Plant identification
July 21, 2012 - Can't i.d a small aroid, arisaema(?) sp.; 5" tall. tuber 12" tall by 1" beginning 8" beneath the soil level. flowers are black spathes with white spots. leaves are alternate. common plant but d...
view the full question and answer

Removing faded flowers from plants in Georgetown, DE
July 28, 2012 - I bought a chamase rose quartz that was in bloom. now the buds are dead, should i remove them or just leave them on the plant. they wont just fall off. and the tips of the plant has new growth.
view the full question and answer

Plant identfication
October 21, 2009 - Hi...Can you please identfy the tall, evergreen shrub with purple plum-colored foliage that I have noticed in winter locally?...Hope so, need he color! THX
view the full question and answer

Identification of plant resembling garlic mustard, but with purple flowers
May 18, 2012 - While searching for the invasive garlic mustard I am finding a very similar looking plant (triangular, alternate, toothed leaves; four petals, same habitat of shaded roadside and interior woods) excep...
view the full question and answer

Smarty Plants's Facebook profile Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.

Mr. Smarty Plants wants you to be his Facebook friend. Click the Facebook icon to add yourself to Mr. Smarty Plants list of friends.