The native shrub known as sweetshrub, or Carolina allspice, has a mixed reputation for the scent of its flowers, with some people finding it pleasant, others thinking it off-putting, and still others unable to detect much fragrance at all. The new cultivar Simply Scentsational solves this problem with its truly sweet-smelling summer blossoms.
Common name: Simply Scentsational sweetshrub
Botanical name: Calycanthus floridus ‘SMNCAF’
Exposure: Full to part sun
Flowers: The flowers appear in late spring to summer, blooming in a rich burgundy color and offering a fruity fragrance. Compared to other sweetshrubs, these blossoms are quite large. They densely line the stems and they're quite eye-catching.
Foliage: Medium to large oval leaves that are fresh green in color and deciduous. The fall color is not remarkable.
Habit: An upright shrub reaching to six feet tall and four to five feet wide. Deciduous.
Origin: The species Calycanthus floridus is a shrub native to open woods and stream banks from the Mid-Atlantic through the Southeast United States. Simply Scentsational is a cultivar introduced by Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs in 2022.
How to grow it: Site Simply Scentsational calycanthus in full or part sun. It prefers moist, acidic soil, but it will adapt to other conditions. If pruning is necessary, do so just after the shrub finishes flowering. It forms its flower buds on "old wood," so a winter or spring pruning would remove them. USDA Zones 4–9.
Image courtesy of Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs