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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


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.


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

Asimina triloba

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