Styrax americanus Lam.
American Snowbell, American Snowbells, American Silverbells, Big-leaf Snowbell, Storax
Styracaceae (Storax Family)
Synonym(s): Styrax americanus var. pulverulentus, Styrax pulverulentus
USDA Symbol: STAM4
This is a slender-branched, deciduous shrub or small tree, 8-15 ft. tall, with a wide, wispy, open crown. American snowbell’s showy, white, bell-shaped flowers are borne in pairs from leaf axils. When in bloom, they cover the plant creating a fragrant, white cloud. The foliage is bright-green and glossy.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Deciduous
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Fruit Type: Capsule
Size Notes: Up to about 15 feet tall.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AL , AR , DC , FL , GA , IL , IN , KY , LA , MO , MS , NC , OH , OK , SC , TN , TX , VA
Native Distribution: FL to e. TX, n. to VA & MO
Native Habitat: Moist woods; wooded stream banks; swamps
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil Description: Moist to wet, cool, acid soils. Acid-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam
Conditions Comments: Does not compete well with other shrubs or trees. Tolerates wet feet.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Accent shrub, Blooms ornamental
Use Wildlife: Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-insects, Fruit-birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Stratify seeds and sow in a greenhouse in January or February, or sow fresh, untreated seed outdoors in the fall. Seeds do not germinate well in warm temperatures. Silverbells can be increased by layerings or softwood cuttings.
Seed Collection: Collect the seeds when they have turned a glossy brown and the capsule has begun to dry. Avoid collecting seeds from ground. Store in sealed, refrigerated containers.
Seed Treatment: Stratify for 60-90 days at 41 degrees.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Crosby Arboretum - Picayune, MS
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department - Austin, TX
Georgia Native Plant Society - Atlanta, GA
Mt. Cuba Center - Hockessin, DE
Wildflower Center Seed BankLBJWC-1081 Collected 2007-08-30 in Marion County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center
BibliographyBibref 1620 - Gardening with Native Plants of the South (Reprint Edition) (2009) Wasowski, S. with A. Wasowski
Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 318 - Native Texas Plants: Landscaping Region by Region (2002) Wasowski, S. & A. Wasowski
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Styrax americanus in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Styrax americanus in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Styrax americanus
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-21
Research By: TWC Staff