Spicebush is a shrubby tree — five to ten feet-tall (and often wider than tall) — which has a great many attributes, beginning with its wonderfully spicy-citrusy aromatic foliage. The blooming period for Spicebush occurs during the mid-spring and lasts about 2 weeks. The males (yes, it is dioecious) have showier, but still tiny, pale yellow flowers along the still-leafless stems. But the females draw our attention in early fall when they’re loaded with berries that turn from green to bright, glossy red, attracting lots of birds. Spicebush prefers dappled sunlight to medium shade, but more sun makes for more flowers and more berries and more birds! About the time the berries are the brightest red, the leaves turn a soft yellow as a backdrop to those shiny, red berries. While attracting birds is delightful, this interesting native plant also attracts a magnificent butterfly, the Spicebush Swallowtail, which attaches its eggs to the leaves If you grow Spicebush in a sunny or partly shady corner of your property (moist to mesic conditions, and a fertile loamy soil with decaying organic matter), you will eventually find Swallowtail caterpillars hiding in neatly folded leaves. By clipping small notches in the foliage, the larvae can bend the leaves over to create a tiny hiding place in which to grow. The black, orange and blue Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly is the prize, a real treat in the garden!