Spicy

May 02, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

The Spicebush is flowering abundantly this year, and it just might be close to peak. On our ridge and surrounding woods, it's one of the most common shrubs, and when Lindera benzoin is in full bloom, the air is heady with a spicy scent that I sometimes detect in a woman's perfume. In these difficult days, of course, I would not, out of fear of appearing the sexual harasser... or worse... ask the perfume-wearer what scent she had on—I'm learning to temper my curiosity about my species, not all others—so I may never know which perfume brand owes its power to the Spicebush. I'll just be content with the delight the species brings to my nose, and in knowing that L. benzoin, which, for reasons I haven't been able to discern, is also called the Benjamin Bush, is a host plant for the caterpillars of the often abundant Spicebush Swallowtail butterfly and the much-rarer Promethea Silkmoth. With any luck, the flowering is a sign that all three species will flourish... and help the Naturalist do the same.


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