Oxydendrum arboreum
Common name: 
Sourwood
Lily-of-the-Valley Tree
Sorrel Tree
Pronunciation: 
ok-si-DEN-drum ar-BO-re-um
Family: 
Ericaceae
Genus: 
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 25-30 ft (7.5-9 m), over 60 ft to even 100 ft in the wild, pyramidal.   Leaves, simple, alternate, 7.5-20 cm × 4-9 cm, elliptic-oblong to lanceolate, serrulate or entire, dark green, but sometimes a little yellow.  Flowers white, urn-shaped, about 6 mm long, fragrant, in 10-25 cm long drooping clusters.  Fruit small, about 8 mm, yellowish at first and then brown, many in droopy clusters (reminiscent of the Lily of the Valley), which persist after leaf drop.   Foliage may show good fall color, yellow, red, and purple.
  • Sun to part shade, acid peaty soil, needs summer moisture, not very competitive, therefore not great as a lawn tree.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone (4) 5     Native from Virginia to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio to Kentucky and Tennessee, grows along stream banks.
  • Oxydendrum: from Greek oxys, acid, and dendron, a tree, referring to its acid tasting leaves.  arboreum: tree-like.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: in parking lot west of Richardson Hall.
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  • plant habit, summer flowering

    plant habit, summer flowering

  • plant habit, summer and fall

    plant habit, summer and fall

  • leaves

    leaves

  • leaves and flowers

    leaves and flowers

  • flowering shoot

    flowering shoot

  • flowers and fruit

    flowers and fruit

  • leaf margin, comparison

    leaf margin, comparison

  • plant habit, summer and fall

    plant habit, summer and fall

  • leaves, fall

    leaves, fall

  • leaves and fruit, fall

    leaves and fruit, fall

  • leaves and fruit clusters, fall

    leaves and fruit clusters, fall

  • fruit clusters and leaves, fall

    fruit clusters and leaves, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • winter twigs

    winter twigs

  • winter twigs, buds

    winter twigs, buds