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Fragrant Styrax Styrax obassia

Phonetic Spelling
STYE-racks oh-BAY-see-uh
Description

Fragrant snowbell is a large-leaved flowering tree.  Its leaves can reach lengths of up to 8".  As the leaves mature each spring, the tree is adorned with fragrant white, bell-shaped flowers that appear in pendulous, terminal racemes.  These racemes can reach 8" in length, giving a showy appearance.  After flowering, drupes are formed.  They may be present into late autumn.  

The bark on older specimens can experience exfoliation which reveals a showy inner layer.  This orange layer will often provide winter interest.

This tree is pyramidal to oval in youth, but more open and rounded as it ages.  Its branches are ascending.  To control the shape of this tree, it is best to prune in the winter.

Insects, Diseases and Other Plant Problems:  The leaves and flower buds can be damaged by frost.  

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#winter interest#deciduous tree#exfoliating bark
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#showy flowers#deciduous#fragrant flowers#winter interest#deciduous tree#exfoliating bark
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Styrax
    Species:
    obassia
    Family:
    Styracaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Korea and Japan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 20 ft. 0 in. - 30 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 15 ft. 0 in. - 25 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Ascending
    Erect
    Open
    Oval
    Pyramidal
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • 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:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    24-60 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Fruit Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Fruit Length:
    < 1 inch
    Fruit Description:
    The fleshy, oval to round fruits can be showy.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Raceme
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Shape:
    Bell
    Flower Description:
    Flowers on 4-8" drooping racemes
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Insignificant
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The dark green 3-8" leaves are
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Gray
    Surface/Attachment:
    Exfoliating
    Smooth
    Bark Description:
    Bark has numerous twists and turns
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Coastal
    Lawn
    Patio
    Design Feature:
    Accent
    Flowering Tree
    Shade Tree
    Small Tree
    Specimen