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Lindera (benzoin)

John M. Englert
USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center
Bldg. 509, BARC - East, E. Beaver Dam Road
Beltsville, Maryland 20705
(301) 504-8175
(301) 504-8741 (fax)

Family Scientific Name: Lauraceae
Family Common Name: Laurel Family
Scientific Name: Lindera benzoin
Common Name: Spicebush
Species Code: LINBEN
Ecotype: Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Shenandoah National Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway
General Distribution: Southern Maine to Michigan, south to Florida and Texas. Found in rich, moist woods.
Propagation Goal: plants
Propagation Method: seed
ProductType: Plug + (container-field grown hybrids)
Stock Type: 2+0 bareroot; 2+1 container
Time To Grow: 2 Years
Target Specifications: Stock Type: Bareroot and container (1 and 2 gallon) material.<br> Height: 36 to 60 inches.<br> Caliper: N/A.<br> Root System: In containers, fibrous roots filling container and forming a firm rootball.
Propagule Collection: Collected in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park, Kentucky by J. Copeland on 10/11/96, 9/15/97, 9/21/98 and 9/18/00; Shenandoah National Park, Virginia by G. Meyer on 9/21/94 and 10/4/95; George Washington Memorial Parkway, Virginia by G. Meyer on 9/8/94 and J. Kujawski on 9/21/00.
Propagule Processing: Seed Processing: Seeds are cleaned prior to sowing. A Dybvig separator is used to remove flesh and pulp. Seeds are kept slightly moist until sowing.
Seeds/Kg: Approximately 7,000.
Germination: 25%.
Purity: 99%.
Pre-Planting Treatments: Seed Treatments: None; we sow seed outdoors and use natural stratification to overcome any dormancy.

Seed dormancy: Seeds require a warm-cold stratification regime to germinate. Sowing in the fall permits seed to undergo warm stratification prior to winter.
Growing Area Preparation/
Annual Practices for Perennial Crops:
Propagation Environment: Outdoor nursery beds.

Seed Propagation Method: Hand-sowing seed in rows.

Container Type and Volume: Plants harvested bareroot may be potted in clusters into 1 gallon containers and later 2 gallon containers for Parks.

Growing Media: Container materials are planted into woody mix (3.8 cu ft. bale Sunshine #1, 4 cu. ft. of pine bark mulch, 20 oz. Nutricote and approximately 20 oz. endo-mycorrhizae).
Establishment Phase: Sowing Date: October.

% Emergence and Date: Seedlings generally emerge the spring following sowing.

Sowing/Planting Technique: Seeds are dusted with fungicide and hand sown into rows (rows are 5 to 6 inches apart, seeds are spaced 1/4 inch apart in rows). Endomycorrhizae are sprinkled over the seed before covering with about 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil. The beds are then mulched with aged sawdust.

Establishment Phase: Sawdust mulch is scraped back in spring prior to seedling emergence. Newly emerged seedlings are monitored closely for irrigation needs.
Young seedlings are shaded as soon as they emerge with poly screening at 30%. Shade cloth remains over seedlings until mid-August.
Active Growth Phase: Rapid Growth Phase: Because NPMC soil is a nutrient poor sandy loam, seedlings are fertilized from mid-April with a granular 10-10-10 once a week through early June. From mid-June through late July, the 10-10-10 is alternated with a granular urea every other week. From late July through late August the seedlings are fertilized with 10-10-10 every two weeks. Overhead irrigation is used after every fertilization. The rate of water applied is determined by soil moisture prior to irrigation.
Hardening Phase: During mid- to late summer, fertilization is cut back to twice monthly. Beginning in September, irrigation is only used in a severe droughty situation.
Harvesting, Storage and Shipping: Harvest Date: Dormant bareroot plants are harvested in early to mid-December.

Total Time to Harvest: Bareroot plants are generally harvested after 2 years in the field. If transplanted into gallons, it takes a third season for a cluster of 2 to 3 plants to fill a gallon container.

Storage Conditions: Bareroot plants are bundled into groups of 25 (or whatever is manageable), and long roots are trimmed. Bundles are placed into plastic bins; roots are covered with sawdust. Bins are placed into a cold storage room (40ยง F) and watered as needed during the winter. Gallon size container plants are stored outside. Containers are laid on their side on weed barrier fabric, and covered with 2 layers of a microfoam insulating blanket. The blanket is secured over plants by threading a rope over the blanket between rebar anchors on either side of a block of plants.

Seed storage: Seeds do not store well and are sown soon after cleaning.
Length of Storage: Storage Duration: 3 months.
References: Gleason, H and A. Cronquist. 1991. Manual of Vascular Plants of Northeastern United States and Adjacent Canada. 2nd edition. New York Bot. Garden.

Cumberland Gap, Shenandoah, George Washington Park collection records at NPMC. Beltsville, MD.


Kujawski, Jennifer L.; Davis, Kathy M.. 2001. Propagation protocol for production of Plug + (container-field grown hybrids) Lindera benzoin plants 2+0 bareroot; 2+1 container; USDA NRCS - Norman A. Berg National Plant Materials Center Beltsville, Maryland. In: Native Plant Network. URL: http://NativePlantNetwork.org (accessed 2020/08/11). US Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, National Center for Reforestation, Nurseries, and Genetic Resources.

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