Lindera

Thunberg

Nova Gen. Pl. 3: 64. 1783, name conserved

Common names: Spicebush
Etymology: for John Linder, 1676-1723, Swedish botanist
Synonyms: Benzoin Boerhaave ex Schaeffer
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 3.
Shrubs or small trees, deciduous. Bark grayish, becoming darker with age. Leaves alternate, aromatic when crushed (at least when young). Leaf blade pinnately veined, membranous to nearly leathery; surfaces glabrous to densely pubescent; domatia absent. Inflorescences appearing before leaves, axillary, clusters (pseudoumbels), clusters subsessile, nearly umbellate, each subtended by 2 pairs of decussate bracts. Flowers unisexual, staminate and pistillate on different plants, a few bisexual flowers on some plants; tepals deciduous, yellow, pellucid-dotted, equal, glabrous. Staminate flowers: stamens 9; anthers 2-locular, 2-valved, introrse. Pistillate flowers: staminodes variously developed; ovary globose. Drupe bright red, ellipsoid to nearly globose, borne on pedicel, with or without persistent tepals at base. x = 12.

Distribution

North America, e Asia.

Discussion

Species ca. 100 (3 in the flora).

Key

1 Leaf blade somewhat leathery, larger blades usually less than 8 × 4 cm, young leaves faintly aromatic when crushed, becoming essentially odorless with age. Lindera subcoriacea
1 Leaf blade membranous, larger blades usually more than 8 × 4 cm, crushed leaves strongly aromatic throughout growing season. > 2
2 Leaves horizontal to mostly ascending; blade obovate, base cuneate, apex acuminate on larger leaves; fruiting pedicels of previous season not persistent on stem, not conspicously enlarged at apex; shrubs or small trees. Lindera benzoin
2 Leaves drooping; blade elliptic to ovate, base rounded to widely cuneate, apex acute; fruiting pedicels of previous season persistent on stem, enlarged at apex; low shrubs rarely over 1.5 m. Lindera melissifolia