Calycanthus floridus L.
Family - Calycanthaceae
Stems - Shrubs to 3 m, stems hairy
Stem and node.
Leaves - Opposite, simple, short petiolate, ovate to oblong-elliptic, entire, adaxially roughened, abaxially pubescent.
Inflorescence - Flowers solitary at branch tips.
Flowers - Actinomorphic, perfect, perigynous. Perianth of numerous free tepals to 4.0 cm long, hairy on the outer surface, red to maroon, the innermost tepals usually white-tipped. Stamens numerous, the outer 10-15 fertile and the inner 10-25 reduced to linear, hairy staminodes. Pistils 10-35 per flower, each with 1 carpel. Ovary with 1 locule and 2 ovules (1 abortive), hairy. Style slender, attached off-center at the tip of the ovary, with a minute, decurrent stigma.
Fruits - Plump achenes 10-12 mm long, finely hairy, dark brown, with a circumferential seam. Enclosed within the expanded, flask-shaped receptacle.
Achenes inside receptacle.
Flowering - April - June.
Habitat - Understory or margin of mesic woodlands.
Origin - Native to southeastern U.S.
Other info.- This ia an easy species to identify when flowering becasue of its big, maroon flowers.
The stems and leaves of the shrubs have a pleasing strawberry-like odor when crushed. The plants contain alkaloids (e.g. calycanthine)
and are poisonous to humans and livestock.
Photographs taken in Linville, NC, 5-11-03, and in Auburn, AL, 4-16-05 (DETenaglia); also at Babler State Park, St. Louis County, MO, 11-14-2011 and 5-2-2017 (SRTurner).