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Snowbell Styrax japonicus 'Emerald Pagoda'

Phonetic Spelling
STYE-racks juh-PON-ih-kus
This plant is an invasive species in North Carolina
Description

NC State University's legendary plantsman, the late JC Raulston, found this wild plant in 1985 while visiting Korea. It showed exceptional vigor and was drastically different from the other native Japanese snowbell trees observed. The dainty, star-like flowers are 1 inch across, larger than most in this species.

The foliage on this deciduous tree is dark green and leathery in texture. 'Emerald Pagoda' also has larger than average-sized leaves. This ornamental tree can be grown in full sun or part shade. It prefers soil rich in organic matter that maintains good drainage. The ideal planting location is where the tree is able to receive a couple of hours of shade each day and located in a somewhat protected environment.

'Emerald Pagoda' is an upright, vase-shaped deciduous tree that is rather slow growing. In ten years, this cultivar will grow to 10 feet tall with a spread of 8 feet. At maturity, this tree can become 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. This would make an excellent patio tree, where its interesting bark and fragrant flowers can be seen up close. It is a great choice where a small, low canopy tree is desired.  Provide some shade during the summer in the more southern climates.  

An excellent choice for a winter garden.  Its habit, long-lasting fruits and showy trunk make it a great addition.  Protection from winter winds is required.

Pruning should be accomplished after the tree has finished flowering for the season.  In cooler climates, a thick layer of mulch in the winter months will benefit this tree.  Little maintenance is required to develop a strong tree.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Stressed plants may be susceptible to Ambrosia beetle.  Bees may be in abundance when blooming occurs, caution should be used.  

Chlorosis, or yellowing of the leaves, can occur in alkaline soil. 

This tree can become invasive.  

When used as a street tree, the lower branches will need to be pruned in order to allow clearance for pedestrian traffic.  

More information on Styrax japonicus.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Carillon'
    Weeping habit, hardy to Zone 6
  • 'Crystal'
    Black-green foliage, hardy to Zone 5
  • 'Issai'
    Grows quickly, hardy to Zone 6
  • 'Pink Chimes'
    Pink flowers, hardy to Zone 6
'Carillon', 'Crystal', 'Issai', 'Pink Chimes'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#understory tree#cpp#showstopper#long lifespan#deciduous tree#understory planting#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#salt spray intolerant#salt intolerant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Carillon'
    Weeping habit, hardy to Zone 6
  • 'Crystal'
    Black-green foliage, hardy to Zone 5
  • 'Issai'
    Grows quickly, hardy to Zone 6
  • 'Pink Chimes'
    Pink flowers, hardy to Zone 6
'Carillon', 'Crystal', 'Issai', 'Pink Chimes'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#small tree#fragrant flowers#drought tolerant#understory tree#cpp#showstopper#long lifespan#deciduous tree#understory planting#sandy soils tolerant#clay soils tolerant#salt spray intolerant#salt intolerant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Styrax
    Species:
    japonicus
    Family:
    Styracaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Korea
    Wildlife Value:
    Bees are attracted to the flowers.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Buffer
    Fragrance
    Textural
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Columnar
    Pyramidal
    Vase
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Low
    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:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Long-lasting
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Drupe
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Width:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    Fleshy green fruits.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The white flowers of 'Emerald Pagoda' are larger than Styrax japonicus.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Red/Burgundy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Elliptical
    Oblong
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Serrate
    Sinuate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green leaves are larger and a deeper green than the average Styrax.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Green
    Bark Description:
    The smooth brown-gray bark on the trunk can be showy.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Can be grown with multiple trunks.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Lawn
    Patio
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Shade Garden
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Small Tree
    Specimen
    Understory Tree
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Problems:
    Invasive Species