Virtues: Japanese snowbell is an ornamental tree that stays relatively small and offers an elegant, delicate silhouette. Its overall shape and its nice spring flowers make it a good choice as a patio tree, for a small garden or as a spring focal point in a larger garden.
Common name: Japanese snowbell
Botanical name: Styrax japonica
Flowers: In late spring, small, white, bell-shaped flowers appear in clusters of 3 to 6. They dangle below the foliage; tree should be sited where the flowers can be appreciated up close, from below—such as overhanging a path or patio.
Foliage: Small, oval, green leaves turn yellow or reddish in later fall.
Habit: Deciduous tree, 2o to 30 feet tall with an equal spread. Branches start low on the trunk and spread horizontally. Overall it has a delicate, elegant look.
Season: Spring for flowers, summer for light shade.
Origin: Japan, Korea, China.
Cultivation: Grow in sun or part shade, in moist soil. Prefers good drainage but will tolerate clay. Appreciates some shelter from winter winds in the colder end of its hardiness range. USDA Zones 5–8.
Small garden? See 400 Trees and Shrubs for Small Spaces.
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