Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

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
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Saturday - May 23, 2015

From: Valley Falls, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Plant Identification
Title: Identity of cinnamon-scented bush from Pennsylvania
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I had a "bush" in PA that the woman who sold it to me called a cinnamon bush. It had long branches with large (approx 5" long and 3" wide) dark green leaves attached evenly along each side of the branch. The buds opened to many petaled, 1/2 flat, dark purplish brown, about 4-5" diameter flowers that smelled cinnamonish. It grew from 12" to 6' in a couple of years. It was very leggy and we trimmed from the top. I live in NY now and I would love to get another one or three! Can you help?

ANSWER:

Mr. Smarty Plants thinks the identity for your shrub is Calycanthus floridus (Eastern sweetshrub).  Here are more descriptions of it from Missouri Botanical Garden, North Carolina Cooperative Extension and Clemson University Cooperative Extension.  The USDA Plants Database distribution map does show it occurring in Pennsylvania and New York and you appear to be located in Zone 5 of the USDA Hardiness Zone Map and the Missouri Botanical Garden site says that it is hardy in zones 4 through 9.  You can check our National Suppliers Directory for nurseries near you that carry native plants for possible sources of this plant.

 

From the Image Gallery


Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

Eastern sweetshrub
Calycanthus floridus

More Plant Identification Questions

Bleeding Heart-Like Plant Identification in PA
May 09, 2015 - Hi Mr. Smarty Plants. We have a plant that looks almost like the bleeding heart, as in the way the bell shaped (not heart) white flowers hang downward on the stem. However, the leaves are broader and...
view the full question and answer

Identity of night-glowing object in tree in New Hampshire
August 02, 2013 - I know this sounds crazy but last night when my husband stepped outside he noticed a purplish glow in one of the trees. At first he thought some kind of animal but when throwing a rock at it it did no...
view the full question and answer

Identity of mint impersonator in California
May 20, 2012 - Is there such a thing as a mint "impersonator"? There are random 'sprigs' of purple-stemmed, bright green leaf plants in my front yard. We just moved in to the house and I don't want to assume ...
view the full question and answer

Dodder
April 06, 2012 - I have seen patches of Bluebonnets that are covered with a stringy,rubbery,orange substance that seems to be choking out the particular patch. It wraps itself around the flowers,completely covering th...
view the full question and answer

Mystery fast-growing plant with the honeysuckle
April 05, 2010 - Mr. Smarty Plants, We have a section of honeysuckle, then a section of this 4 foot, bright, hairy green leafed, thorn bush that seems to be blooming/growing faster than the honeysuckle. Then a sectio...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.