Sourwood

Oxydendrum arboreum

Photo/Illustration: 
Micheal Dirr
Photo/Illustration: 
Micheal Dirr
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)
oks-ih-DEN-drum ar-BOR-ee-um
Genus:  Oxydendrum
Sourwood, the lone species of the genus, is found in woodlands and along streams of eastern North America. This plant (named for the sour taste of its leaves) forms a pyramidal tree to 30 feet tall, with canoe-shaped, glossy leaves that turn vivid maroon, yellow, or purple in autumn. In late summer, its delicate panicles of fragrant, urn-shaped flowers spray forward, decorating the tree in white. The blossoms, which resemble lily-of-the-valley, are followed by yellowish seed capsules that turn brown and persist into winter. It makes an outstanding specimen both for a prominent position and also for a naturalized setting.
Noteworthy Characteristics:  Glossy leaves with good fall color; fragrant flowers in late summer; decorative seed heads. U.S. native.
Care:  Grow in moist, well-drained, acidic soil in full sun or partial shade (blooms best in full sun). It prefers a reasonably protected site. Prune only to maintain a healthy framework.
Propagation:  Sow seed in a cold frame in autumn. In summer, take semi-ripe cuttings.
Problems:  Leaf spots.

Overview

Height
Over 30 ft.
Spread
15 ft. to 30 ft.
Growth Habit
Clumps
Growth Pace
Slow Grower
Light
Full Sun to Part Shade
Moisture
Medium Moisture
Maintenance
Low
Characteristics
Fragrant Flowers,
Interesting Bark,
Native,
Showy Fall Foliage,
Showy Flowers,
Showy Foliage,
Showy Seed Heads
Bloom Time
Late Summer
Flower Color
White Flower
Uses
Beds and Borders,
Flowering Tree,
Naturalizing,
Specimen Plant/Focal Point,
Waterside
Style
Meadow Garden,
Woodland Garden
Seasonal Interest
Summer Interest
Tolerance
Frost Tolerant
Type
Trees

Related Plants to Oxydendrum arboreum

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Bigleaf magnolia
Magnolia macrophylla
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Magnolia
Magnolia 'Butterflies'
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Ashe magnolia
Magnolia ashei
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
Loebner magnolia
Magnolia  × loebneri