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Storax Styrax americanus

Other plants called Storax:

Phonetic Spelling
STYE-racks a-mer-ih-KAY-na
Description

American snowbell is a native small tree or large shrub in the Styracaceae (silver bells) family.  This slender branched woody ornamental is native to the southeastern US and can be found growing in swamps, marshy areas, stream banks, and other wet locations. 

Plant in full sun to partial shade in rich, acidic, well drained sandy loam based soils.  It is tolerant of wet soils.  When mature it reaches a height and width of 6 to 10 feet with a wide, open crown and dense, uniform branches that originate from the base and up the main trunk.  In the spring pendulous rounded clusters or single bell-like blooms of white flowers exude an aura of sweet fragrance that attracts pollinators like bees, butterflies, and moths.   After flowering has completed, hairy fruits emerge.  American silverbells does not sucker from the roots. 

This plant can be propagated by stem cuttings.  To propagate by seed, once the seed has turned a glossy brown and the capsule has begun drying, collect the seed and store in a sealed container under refrigeration.  Seed collected from the ground is not recommended for propagation.

Use this flowering small tree or shrub as a specimen in wet areas of the landscape in a woodland garden, or in small groups as a backdrop to a border or for screening.  Planting it near a patio will ensure the enjoyment of the fragrant blooms.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant does not do well when situated in tight conditions with other plants. It will do fairly well in full sun as long as adequate water is supplied. 

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#slow growing#native tree#moths#deciduous shrub#native shrub#wetlands#flowering tree#NC native#playground plant#screening#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#short lifespan#deciduous tree#border back#wet soils tolerant#patio planting#bird friendly#patio tree#butterfly friendly#wetland margins#bee friendly#woodland garden#native
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#wildlife plant#slow growing#native tree#moths#deciduous shrub#native shrub#wetlands#flowering tree#NC native#playground plant#screening#pollinator plant#Braham Arboretum#short lifespan#deciduous tree#border back#wet soils tolerant#patio planting#bird friendly#patio tree#butterfly friendly#wetland margins#bee friendly#woodland garden#native
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Styrax
    Species:
    americanus
    Family:
    Styracaceae
    Uses (Ethnobotany):
    Native ornamental
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Root Cutting
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeastern U.S.A., NC
    Distribution:
    AL, AR, DC, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MO, MS, NC, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, VA
    Wildlife Value:
    Host to Promethea silkmoth (Callosamia Promethea). Fragrant flowers and fruits attract pollinators, butterflies and birds.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Fragrance
    Wildlife Food Source
    Dimensions:
    Height: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 6 ft. 0 in. - 10 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Native Plant
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Fine
  • 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 Texture:
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Occasionally Wet
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gray/Silver
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    A hairy subglobose (imperfect sphere) 1/3" long fruit follows flowering. At maturity, the fruits will be a gray-brown.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The bell-shaped flowers bloom either single or in clusters of 1-4. The flowers are white with 5 reflexed petals and have yellow stamens.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Gold/Yellow
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The bright green leaves are up to 3" in size. May have a minimal amount of hair.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Fissured
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Thin, smooth and dark gray bark, but, fissures with age.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Pond
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Native Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Screen/Privacy
    Small groups
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Moths
    Pollinators
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Wet Soil
    Problems:
    Short-lived