Boone County Arboretum
9190 Camp Ernst Road
Union, Kentucky 41091
Phone: (859) 384-4999
Fax: (859) 384-6888

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Cultural Details for Oxydendrum arboreum

Common Name:
Sourwood, Sorrel Tree, Lily-of-the-Valley Tree

Growth Rate:
Slow 14-15' over 12-15 year period.

Average Mature Height:
25-30' can grow 50-75'

Average Mature Width:

Flower Details:
White perfect, urnshaped .25" long, June-early July, fragrant.

Fruit Details:
Dehisant, 5 valved .33" long capsule, yellowish at first finally brown.

Fall Color:
Yellow, red and purple.

Bark Details:
Grayish-brown to brown, thick deeply furrowed with scaly ridges.

Disease / Insect Problems or Resistance:
Leaf Spots and Twig Blight, neither of which are serious.

Native Habitat:
Zones 5-9, Virginia to North Carolina, South West Pennsylvania, South Ohio, Indiana, Western Kentucky to Florida and Louisana. Inroduced in 1747.

Other Features:
Excellent flowering tree, literally smothers foliage.

Culture and Care:
Transplant balled and burlapped or container grown into acid peaty moist well drained soil.

This plant was blooming:

Plantings of this cultivar at Boone County Arboretum:

    The information on this page may have come from one or more of the following sources:
  • Dirr, Michael. Manual of Woody Landscape Plants. Stipes Publishing. 1998.
  • Hightshoe, Gary L. Native Trees, Shrubs, and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley & Sons. 1988.
  • North Carolina Extension Plant Fact Sheets.
  • University of Connecticut Plant Database.