snowbell

FAMILY: Styracaceae | GENUS: STYRAX

TYPE
  • Shrubs
  • Trees
  • Deciduous
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water

Plant Details

Neat, well-behaved flowering trees of modest size for patios or lawns; make a nice contrast in front of larger, darker-leafed trees. The species described below put on a spring or early summer show of white, bell-shaped flowers in hanging clusters. Leaves of most are oval and pointed. Easy to garden under, since roots are deep and nonaggressive. Provide good, well-drained, acid soil, except as noted.

american snowbell

styrax americanus

  • Zones US, MS, LS, CS, TS; USDA 6-9.
  • Native from Florida to Virginia, west to Missouri, Arkansas, and Louisiana.
  • Round-topped shrub, 69 feet tall and not quite as wide, with zigzagging stems carrying bright green leaves to 312 inches long.
  • Fragrant, 34 inches flowers, solitary or in clusters of four.
  • Some tolerance of poor drainage.
  • Performs better in light shade.

bigleaf snowbell

styrax grandifolius

  • Zones MS, LS, CS; USDA 7-9.
  • Native from Virginia to Florida.
  • To 12 feet tall and 6 feet wide, but often smaller.
  • Dark green leaves up to 7 inches long.
  • Fragrant, 12- to 1 inches flowers in 8 inches-long, drooping clusters.
  • Best in light shade and cool, moist soil.

japanese snowbell, japanese snowdrop tree

styrax japonicus

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • To 30 feet tall and 25 feet wide, with slender, graceful trunk; branches often strongly horizontal, giving tree a broad, flat top.
  • Scallop-edged leaves to 3 inches long turn from dark green to red or yellow in fall.
  • Faintly fragrant, white, 34 inches flowers hang in small clusters on short side branches.
  • Leaves angle upward from branches while flowers hang down, giving the effect of parallel green and white tiers.
  • Prune to control shape; tends to be shrubby unless lower side branches are suppressed.
  • Splendid tree to look up into; plant it in raised beds near outdoor entertainment areas, or on a high bank above a path.

fragrant snowbell

Carillon' is a shrubby selection with weeping branches; 'Pink Chimes', also shrubby, has a more upright form and bears pink flowers

  • Marleys Pink Parasol' grows only 68 feet tall and 4 feet wide in a weeping form with distinctive foliage that is big, dark, and glossy compared to the species.
  • Look for a heavy bloom of pink flowers followed by pale yellow fall color.

styrax obassia

  • Zones US, MS, LS; USDA 6-8.
  • Grows to 2030 feet tall, about two-thirds as wide.
  • Oval to round, deep green leaves to 38 inches long.
  • Where frosts come very late, leaves may color yellow in autumn.
  • Foliage may partly obscure highly fragrant, 1 inches flowers carried in drooping, 6- to 8 inches clusters at branch ends.
  • Blooms earlier in spring than Styrax japonicus.
  • Newly planted trees often take a few years to start blooming.
  • Good against background of evergreens, or for height and contrast above border of rhododendrons and azaleas.

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