Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Meet the "American Snowbell" - (Styrax americanus)
The "American Snowbell" - Styrax americanus - is a deciduous shrub/small tree that is native to the Southeastern United States. It ranges in height from 6-10 feet with some even reaching heights of 15 ft in ideal conditions. It is native to damp woods areas, swamps, marshes, flood plains and stream/river banks, sometimes growing even in standing water. Primarily found in the Southeastern protions of the U.S. from Florida to Eastern Texas and North along the coastal plains to Virginia and up the Mississippi valley to Southeastern Missouri, up the Ohio valley to Southern Illinois and Southern Indiana.
The American Snowbell has showy and fragrant white bell shaped pendulous flowers that average 1/2 inch long. These flowers bloom from April to late May or early June (depending on the area) either singularly or in clusters of 2-4. There are five reflexed petals in each flower. The leaves are elliptic to oval in shape and range from dark to medium green in color. the top side of the leaves have a slight sheen to them and the undersides are a more dull grey green.
Image Citations (Photos 1, 2 & 3): Karan A. Rawlins, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org
The American Snowbell is recommended for zones 6-8. It makes for a beautiful addition to any wooded landscape. It prefers full sun to partial shade and moist soil. It has a rounded shape and showy flowers that not only add interest, but also attract butterflies. There are not any serious pests or diseases that effect this shrub/tree. It is propagated by both seed and cuttings.