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The Plant Guide

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Fragrant snowbell

Styrax obassia

STY-raks oh-BASS-ee-ah

This plant is a small tree or large shrub reaching 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It starts out in a pyramidal shape and becomes more open with age. Fragrant, bell-shaped, white flowers are borne on 4-inch to 8-inch long chains. Flowers dangle from rounded, dark green foliage in late spring, followed by small light brown fruits that usually drop by late fall.

CareGrow in moist but well-drained, fertile, humus-rich, neutral to acidic soil. Shelter from wind. This plant leafs out in early spring: To avoid early-frost damage, site in a north-facing exposure in loose soil.

PropagationTake greenwood cuttings in summer.


  • Genus : Styrax
  • Plant Height : 15 to 30 feet
  • Plant Width : 15 to 30 feet
  • Zones : 6, 7, 8
  • Light : Full Sun to Partial Shade
  • Moisture : Medium Moisture
  • Characteristics : Showy Foliage, Showy Fruit
  • Bloom Time : Spring
  • Plant Seasonal Interest : Summer Interest
  • Plant Type : Trees
  • Flower Color : White

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