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landscapers like it for the blooms and the red berries that persist into late fall. beloved by native americans, all parts have been used medicinally. a fragrant tea can be made from the leaves, which give off a lemony aroma. the berries can be dried and used like allspice or black pepper, hence the common name. fresh spicebush berries can be crushed to season meats, stews, soups, etc. a beverage similar to ginger ale can also be made from the fresh berries. pioneer families kept the cut twigs in their kitchens - the 'spice sticks' were used to flavor soups. modern usage is mostly for potpourri. some birds and also bears eat the berries.