sourwood Ericaceae Oxydendrum arboreum
Leaf:Alternate, simple, elliptical to lanceolate, 4 to 7 inches long, very finely serrate to ciliate, very slight pubescence on the mid-vein below, green above and paler below. A sour taste is obvious when the leaf is chewed
Flower:Species is monoecious; white, 1/4 inch long, urn-shaped, borne on drooping panicles, reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley flowers, appear in mid-summer.
Fruit:Dehiscent, 5-valved capsules borne on panicles. Capsules are dry when mature in fall and release the very tiny, 2-winged seeds.
Twig:Olive green, changing to red, with buds that are small, round and oppressed (almost absent); leaf scars are elevated with one bundle scar.
Bark:Grayish brown, very thick with deep furrows and scaly ridges; often the ridges are broken into recognizable rectangles.
Form:A small tree maybe up to 60 feet tall, usually with poor form with crooked branches and an irregular crown.