Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower

Very few people in the midwest are familiar with this slender shrub even though Styrax americanus, American snowbell, occurs here in Lincolnland. Probably few people spend time hiking through wet woods or swamps of the southern tier where this shrub generally grows. It appears to grow quite well in less wet situations where it makes a nice, delicate addition to a shady border. My seedling has taken 5 years to reach a flowering size, but until this year it was growing in a very shady spot with very heavy soil, neither conducive to a good start. Flowering occurs in the late spring at about the same time as its better known relative the silverbell tree. Although the flowers are on the small side, even a small bush produces large numbers hanging below the branches.


Mary said...

Lovely flower! Reminds me a little of the shooting star, Dodecatheon meadia. Nice that you moved the plant to a better location.

Carolyn ♥ said...

Nice post, I've never seen this flower before. It really is lovely. Thank you for sharing

Laura Bloomsbury said...

Hi - just found your interesting, funny and informative blog. Love the Friday flower - at first glance thought is was Solanum Jasminoides. Seems it reminds others of something else.


p.s. Love your quote about bulldozing and the naming of streets after flowers.

The Phytophactor said...

Yes, now that you say it, this little snowbell does look a bit like Solanum jaminioides, certainly more than it looks like shooting star (sorry Mary), but the devil is in the details as my taxonomy students soon learn.