Description: Spicebush is deer resistant and the attractive yellow spring flowers provide a nectar source for many native insects and butterflies. The leaves are also aromatic and are the food source for Spicebush and Swallowtail caterpillars. Spicebush foliage turns from green to gold in the fall and the ripe red berries are very ornamental and provide an excellent food source for migratory birds before their long journey. Good in mixed borders or naturalized.
Attracts: The flowers are cross-pollinated by various insects, particularly small bees and various flies. Insects that eat the foliage of Spicebush include the caterpillars of Papilio troilus (Spicebush Swallowtail), Callosamia promethea (Promethea Moth), and Epimecis hortaria (Tulip Tree Beauty). The grubs of the long-horned beetle, Oberea ruficollis (Sassafras Borer), bore into the branches and roots of this shrub. The fruits are eaten occasionally by several woodland songbirds. These birds help to distribute the seeds to new locations.
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