Marcus, Joseph A.
Halesia diptera Ellis
Two-wing silverbell, Silver bell, Two-winged silverbell, Snowdrop tree, American snowdrop tree
Styracaceae (Snowball Family)
A small, rounded tree
two-winged silverbell or American snowdrop tree
is usually multi-stemmed or low-branched. The plant grows 3–15 feet high and has alternate
leaves 2–7 inches long and half as wide, with distinct veins. Deciduous
leaves are dark-yellow-green in summer, changing to yellow in fall. The white, tubular flowers hang on long, pendulous
pedicels and are about 1 inch across and consist of 4 waxy petals with a tight cluster of stamens
in the center, looking somewhat like a white candle in a white candle holder. A two-winged fruit
cures tan for fall. The bark
of young trees is striped and becomes furrowed in an interesting pattern with age.
The common and scientific names both refer to the two-winged fruit. This immature sour green fruit
is consumed by wildlife, including squirrels.
Image Gallery: 30 photo(s) available
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
AL , AR , FL , GA , LA , MS , SC , TX Native Distribution:
SC to AR, s. to FL & TX Native Habitat:
Rich woods; swamp margins USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Rich, well-drained soils. Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Acid-based
Conditions Comments: This species blooms 1-2 weeks later than H. carolina. Though not drought-tolerant, this species seems to adapt to other cultural extremes. A common variety, var. magniflora, is more heavily flowered and drought-tolerant than the species.
or shrub Conspicuous Flowers: