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Marcus, Joseph A.
Halesia diptera Ellis
Two-wing silverbell, Silver bell, Two-winged silverbell, Snowdrop tree, American snowdrop tree
Synonym(s): Halesia diptera var. magniflora
USDA Symbol: HADI3
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
A small, rounded tree or shrub, 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.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
, TX Native Distribution: SC
s. to FL
& TX Native Habitat:
Rich woods; swamp margins
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:
Cuttings are difficult to root; those that do root should not be transplanted until growth flushes the following spring. Seeds require a period of after-ripening followed by cold, moist stratification. Seed Collection:
from early fall to early winter. Air dry to prevent molding or rotting. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers. Commercially Avail:
National Wetland Indicator Status
|Status:|| FAC || FAC || FAC |
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
Delaware Nature Society
- Hockessin, DECrosby Arboretum
- Picayune, MSMt. Cuba Center
- Hockessin, DE
Record Last Modified: 2013-09-07
Research By: TWC Staff