Thursday, April 16, 2009

Car Trunk Trees: Halesia carolina (Carolina Silverbell)

Number five in our "Car Trunk Trees" series is a showy, hard to find flowering tree that will grow in the shade. We have these hard-to-find beauties in stock in easy-to-carry, easy-to-plant, 2 gallon containers. Really, what more can you ask for?

Halesia carolina (Carolina Silverbell)

Why we love it: Striated bark, showy bell shaped flowers, AND it can grow in the shade!

Hardiness Zones: 5 to 8
Height: 30 ft to 40 ft Spread: 20 ft to 35 ft
Form: arching
Type: low branch profile with a rounded crown
Annual Growth Rate: 12 to 15 inches
Flowers: White Blooms April/May, seeds ripen in September/October

This tree grows in shade or sun. Prefers moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Dirr says the Halesia carolina makes "a great tree for understory planting along a stream, in the back of the shrub boarder, against a background of large conifers, or as a single specimen, yet [it is] not common anywhere in America."

Halesia carolina has striated exfoliating bark and bright yellow fruit in the fall. This tree is often confused with the Styrax japonicus fargesii (Japanese Snowbell) (profiled in the previous entry) because both have spring-blooming, white, downward-facing flowers, but the Halesia has the exfoliating bark and is more shade tolerant.

more info

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