|Lindera subsp. var.|
Lindera is a genus of about 80-100 species of flowering plants in the family Lauraceae, mostly native to eastern Asia but with three species in eastern North America. The species are shrubs and small trees; common names include Spicebush and Benjamin Bush.
The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen depending on species, and are alternate, entire or three-lobed, and strongly spicy-aromatic. The flowers are small, yellowish, with six petaloid sepals and no petals. The fruit is a small red, purple or black drupe containing a single seed.
Lindera species are used as food plants by the larvae of some Lepidoptera species including The Engrailed. One of the world's rarest bee species, the andrenid bee Andrena lauracea is apparently a specialist on Lindera (see Lindera benzoin).
|Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture|
Benzoin (of Arabic or Semitic origin, meaning o gum or perfume). Syn., Lindera. Lauraceae. Ornamental woody plants, grown chiefly for their handsome aromatic foliage; some species also for their early yellow flowers and the brightly colored fruits in autumn.
Aromatic shrubs or trees: Lvs. alternate, entire or 3-lobed, deciduous or persistent: fls. polygamous or dioecious, apetalous. small, in axillary clusters with an involucre of 4 deciduous scales; sepals 6, rarely more; staminate fls. with 9 stamens, pistillate with a globose ovary and 9-15 staminodes: fr. a 1-seeded drupe. —About 60 species, if Daphnidium and Aperula are included, in Temp, and Trop. E. and Cent. Asia and in N. Amer.
Some Asiatic species yield an odorous oil used in perfumery. The cultivated species, with the exception of B. gracile, are deciduous shrubs, with yellow flowers in small clusters before the leaves and red or black fruits in autumn. B. aestivale is hardy North and B. obtusilobum has proved hardy at the Arnold Arboretum in a sheltered position; B. hypoglaucum is of about equal hardiness: the other species are more tender.
They thrive best in peaty or sandy and moist soil. Propagation is usually by seeds, which must be sown after maturity, as they soon lose their vitality; also by layers, which root best in peaty soil; of greenwood cuttings under glass, one-half may be expected to root. The benzoin of the druggists is a balsamic resin obtained from Styrax Benzoin.
B. gracile, Kuntze (Daphnidium gracile, Nees). Lvs. ovate, 3-nerved, chartaceous, persistent. Habitat unknown. Stove plant. —B. hypoglaucum, Rehd. (Lindera hypoglauca, Maxim. B. hypoleucum, Kuntze). Lvs. penninerved, glaucous beneath: clusters few-fld., with or before the Lvs.: berries black. Japan.—B. melissifolium, Nees. Allied to B. aestivale. Branches pubescent: Lvs. oblong, downy beneath. Southern states.—B. obtusilobum, Kuntze. Large shrub with very handsome foliage: Lvs. 3-nerved, ovate or 3-lobed, grayish green and nearly glabrous beneath, 2-4½ in. long: clusters many-fld.: berries black. Japan.—B. proecox, Sieb. & Zucc. Lvs. penninerved. elliptic-oblong, greenish beneath, acuminate: clusters few- fld., before the Lvs.: berries brownish, ½ in. diam. Japan.—B, sericeum, Sieb. & Zucc. Lvs. penninerved, grayish pubescent beneath: clusters many-fld., with the Lvs. Japan.
Pests and diseases
- Selected species
- Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, by L. H. Bailey, MacMillan Co., 1963