The Sourwood Tree (Oxydendrum arboreum), a small ornamental plant, delights the eye with its all-seasons beauty. Its little, white, fragrant flowers bloom in June with dark glossy leaves, and many say that the flowers resemble lily-of-the-valley. In autumn, the Sourwood Tree displays a vivid palette of purple, scarlet, orange and yellow leaves, and when winter arrives, rope-like fruit capsules hang delicately on the tree.
The plant grows slowly and adds striking beauty to any landscaped property with its unique pyramid shape and drooping branches. The tree is also the source of the favorite gourmet sourwood honey, a rich honey that tastes like maple and spice. Honeybees and native bees are both attracted to the tree's flowers that are full of nectar. Deer also like to stop by and browse through the twigs and shiny leaves.
The Sourwood Tree thrives best in full sun to partial shade with acidic soil that is well-drained. The tree grows best in USDA hardiness zones 5-9. The elegant specimen tree can be found in the Eastern zone from Pennsylvania down to Florida and out to Indiana.
Nursery experts say that the tree can reach a mature height of 14 to 15 feet with a spread of 20 feet over a 12 to 15 year period of time. The plant creates a lovely focal point in a garden or small residential property as it delivers textural interest all year long. Another plus is that the Sourwood Tree is generally insect and disease-free.
It's recommended to plant a Sourwood Tree in the spring, and the most important thing to do is water the tree regularly until it grows.
The Sourwood is one of the loveliest ornamental trees out there and instantly creates a beautiful elegance for any property. It's not too small and not too large. It's naturally perfect, fragrant and colorful as specimen trees go.