Styrax japonica - Japanese Snowbell
Family - Styracaceae
Size - 20 feet in height, possibly to 30 feet, with a comparable spread. Low branched tree with a broad rounded crown. The upper branches are more vertical, the lower branches are more horizontal. Growth rate averages 2 feet per year, maybe more in ideal situations.
Foliage - Alternate, simple, tapering at both ends. Glossy green in summer, yellow Fall color. Foliage is very pest free.
Flower/Fruit/Seed - White with yellow stamens, bell shaped about 3/4" in length, lightly fragrant. Each flower is on a pendulous peduncle, about 1 1/2" in length. Flowering occurs in late April-early May. Fruit is a dry drupe, grayish-green in color, attractive through August and falling in mid Fall.
Bark - Gray-brown smooth showing irregular orangish-brown fissures.
Pests and Diseases - None. A very pest free tree.
Landscape Use - Excellent wherever a small tree is needed in the home or small commercial landscape. Patio, shrub border, focal tree. Would do well in elevated planting areas as the flowers are best viewed from underneath due to their pendulous habit. The uses are always endless for a good tree.
Performance - 10 A good and proven performer. Prefers a well drained soil supplemented with organic matter. Is hardy to zone 5, should do well in to zone 8, strong growth rate, no insect or disease problems, abundant and fragrant flowers, full sun to part shade. Japanese Styrax is in the Styracaceae family which includes several very attractive but infrequently used trees (Halesia and Pterostyrax). I guess I will never understand why some trees aren't more well known than they are.
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