SOURWOOD, SORREL TREE

FAMILY: Ericaceae | GENUS: OXYDENDRUM arboreum

TYPE
  • Trees
  • Deciduous
SUN EXPOSURE
  • Full Sun
  • Partial Shade
WATER
  • Regular Water
PLANTING ZONES
  • US (Upper South) / Zone 6
  • MS (Middle South) / Zone 7
  • LS (Lower South) / Zone 8
  • CS (Coastal South) / Zone 9

Plant Details

Native from Pennsylvania and Ohio south to Florida, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Beautiful flowering tree that offers year-round interest. Very slow growth (often less than 1 feet a year) to 2530 feet tall and wide, though 50 feet is possible. Pyramidal shape with slender trunk, rounded top, slightly pendulous branches; handsome winter silhouette.

Narrow, 5- to 8 inches-long leaves somewhat resemble peach leaves; they are bronze tinted in early spring, rich green in summer, orange and scarlet to blackish purple in autumn. Bark of new stems is bright red. Blooms in summer, bearing fragrant, bell-shaped, creamy white flowers in 10 inches-long, drooping clusters at branch tips. Flowers are used to make a prized honey. In fall, when foliage is brilliantly colored, branching clusters of greenish seed capsules extend outward and downward like fingers; capsules turn light silver-gray, hang on late into winter.

Chameleon

  • is a bit more upright and offers reliably brilliant fall colors, including lime-green, yellow, rosy red, and purple.
  • 'Mt. Charm' is symmetrical and gives a bright show of autumn color a little earlier than the species.

Grow in well-drained, acid soil. Tolerates some drought but

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