Sourwood- Oxydendrum arobreum


General: A pyramidal tree with a rounded top growing 25’ to 30’ in height.

Leaves: Alternate, simple and elliptic-oblong, 3 to 8” long. Iridescent green in the spring becoming dark green in the summer and turning yellow, red and purple in the fall, often all colors on the same tree.

Bark: Grayish brown and deeply furrowed with scaly ridges.

Flowers:  Waxy, white, fragrant and urn shaped panicles, drooping 4 to 8” long. Resemble lily of the valley flowers. June to July.

Fruit: A 5 parted  capsule that hangs from passed panicles starting yellow and maturing to brown. Are very ornamental paired with fall foliage and persist through winter

Attributes:  Ornamental in all seasons. Perfect as a specimen or in groupings for lawns, patios, shade gardens or open areas.


Hardiness:  Zones 5-9.

Growing Conditions: Prefers moist, acidic, peaty, well drained soil in full sun or partial shade. Not pollution tolerant.

MaintenanceLeaf spot, occasionally.

Transplanting: Easily transplanted to well draining soil.

Our Experience

Experience at Great Hill

We have several specimens of Oxydendrum in our nursery. They are striking in every season in their unique habit and many ornamental attributes. Flowers are very attractive to bees and sourwood honey is a highly prized local product.




Sourwood Bloom Data

YearBud BreakFull BloomBloom Drop
2020June 18July 3August 8
2021June 30July 16August 5
2022June 22July 5August 18