Shrubs or small trees , to 5 m. Young twigs glabrous or sparsely pubescent. Leaves horizontal to ascending, strongly aromatic (spicy) throughout growing season; petiole ca. 10 mm, glabrous or pubescent. Leaf blade obovate, smaller blades generally elliptic, (4-)6-15 × 2-6 cm, membranous, base cuneate, margins ciliate, apex rounded to acuminate on larger leaves; surfaces abaxially glabrous to densely pubescent, adaxially glabrous except for a few hairs along midrib. Drupe oblong, ca. 10 mm; fruiting pedicels of previous season not persistent on stem, slender, 3-5 mm, apex not conspicuously enlarged. 2 n = 24.
"Much-branched shrub to 5 m; lvs obovate to oblong or elliptic, 6–12 cm, pointed at both ends, pinnately veined, the uppermost lvs on each twig commonly the largest;petioles 5–12 mm; fls yellow, 6–7 mm wide, appearing before the lvs in dense clusters ca 2 cm thick from the nodes of last year’s stems; fr short-stalked, red, ellipsoid, 6–10 mm; 2n=24. Abundant in rich, moist woods; s. Me. to Mich., s. to Fla. and Tex. Mar.–May. (Benzoin aestivale) The northern var. benzoin, with the lvs and twigs glabrous, extends s. to Va. and Mo., and in the mts. to Ga. The more southern var. pubescens (E. J. Palmer & Steyerm.) Rehder, with the lower lf surfaces and young twigs hairy, extends n. to se. Va., s. O., sw. Mich., and Mo."
|Spicebush, Benjamin bush|