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Mountain Silverbell Halesia carolina

Other Common Name(s):

Other plants called Mountain Silverbell:

Previously known as:

  • Halesia tetraptera
Phonetic Spelling
ha-LESS-ee-ah kay-roh-LEE-nah
Description

Carolina silverbell is in the Styracaceae family.  It can be grown as a large multitrunked shrub or trained into a small understory tree.  It is easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. It prefers moist, acidic, organically rich soils in part shade. It has an irregular, spreading, open crown and yellow fall color.  It suffers during drought so will need supplemental irrigation. Makes an attractive specimen plant for a lawn or in a shrub border or woodland garden.  Looks attractive planted with rhododendrons and azaleas.

Fire Risk: This plant has a low flammability rating.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: No serious problems though not tolerant of salt or compacted soils.  Leaves can become chlorotic in high pH soils.

 

 

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Meehanii'
    Rounded form more of a large shrub
  • 'Rosea'
    Pink flowers but depends on pH
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#bark#interesting bark#specimen#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#pyramidal#nectar plant#fall interest#patio#flowering#flowering tree#playground#lawn tree#food source#low flammability#NC native#shrub border#children's garden#fire resistant#woodland#borders#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#multitrunked#larval host plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Meehanii'
    Rounded form more of a large shrub
  • 'Rosea'
    Pink flowers but depends on pH
Tags:
#hummingbirds#deciduous#bark#interesting bark#specimen#wildlife plant#showy#native tree#pyramidal#nectar plant#fall interest#patio#flowering#flowering tree#playground#lawn tree#food source#low flammability#NC native#shrub border#children's garden#fire resistant#woodland#borders#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#multitrunked#larval host plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Halesia
    Species:
    carolina
    Family:
    Styracaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native ornamental
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    West VA to OH to OK and IL, south to FL
    Distribution:
    Southeastern U.S.
    Fire Risk Rating:
    low flammability
    Wildlife Value:
    Attracts hummingbirds, and supports 7 different species of lepidopteran caterpillars.
    Play Value:
    Wildlife Food Source
    Particularly Resistant To (Insects/Diseases/Other Problems):
    fire in the landscape.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 30 ft. 0 in. - 40 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 25 ft. 0 in. - 35 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Irregular
    Multi-trunked
    Open
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Showy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Winter
    Fruit Type:
    Nut
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    An oblong 4-winged drupe which starts out green with a dark point at the base and turns brown persisting and providing winter interest.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    White, pendulous bell-shaped 1/2"-3/4" long, in drooping clusters of 2-5 blooms from late April to May. Flowers appear on second year growth.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leaves appear at the same time or just after bloom. They are finely toothed, dull, ovate-oblong finely toothed 2-5" long with rounded base and acute apex. Turn yellow in the fall but drop early.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Orange
    Bark Description:
    Young bark is gray with vertical dark fissures, mature bark is ridged and furrowed with orange bark appearing underneath.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Second-year stems appear stringy
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Patio
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Specimen
    Attracts:
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Black Walnut
    Fire