Oxydendron arboreum
Family Ericaceae

* Leaves narrow to egg-shaped, with a sour taste, 3-5" long.
* Flowers and fruits heath-like; Flowers creamy white, in one-sided clusters, 7-8" long.
* Fruits clusters of small dry capsules, 5-parted, splitting open when ripe.
* Bark dark, furrowed.
* Twigs hairless.
* Height: 20-50'.

Natural History:
* Flowers June - July.
* Fruits most of the year.
* Habitat: Fertile, rich woodlands.
* Range: New Jersey south to Florida and west to Illinois; elsewhere cultivated.
* Native to North America, but cultivated in Wellesley's arboretum!

* Sourwood trees are very popular as ornamental specimens. In autumn they are at their most spectacular, when their leaves turn an elegant crimson. Because of their delicate white flowers, they are sometimes called Lily-of-the-Valley trees.

* Bees love sourwood flowers, feeding on them extensively and producing Sourwood honey, which is popular in the southern United States.


Created by: Allaire Diamond and Jiasuey Hsu
Maintained by: Nick Rodenhouse
Created: July 31, 1998
Last Modified: November 21, 2008