silverbell Styracaceae Halesia
tetraptera Ellis symbol: HATE3
Leaf: Alternate, simple, 3 to 6 inches long, ovate in shape, with a serrate to toothed margin, dark green above, pale and somewhat pubescent below.
Flower: Very showy white, 4-petaled, bell-shaped, 3/4 to 1 inch long, borne on long stalks in clusters of 4 to 5, appearing in spring.
Fruit: A very distinctive oblong, dry, 2-winged, corky drupe that is 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, fleshy fruit matures in autumn, dries, and disperses over winter.
Twig: Somewhat zig-zag (terminal bud is absent), brown in color with reddish brown buds; the pith is white and chambered.
Bark: When young, red-brown with white stripes, forming a rough diamond-shape pattern; older trees develop ridges and furrows.
Form: A large shrub or a medium tree with a rounded crown, var. tetraptera commonly to 35 feet and var. monticola to over 100 feet.
Looks like: two-wing silverbell - blackgum - common persimmon - sourwood
Additional Range Information: Halesia tetraptera is native to North America. Range may be expanded by planting. See states reporting silverbell.
More Information: Fall Color
External Links: USDAFS Silvics of North America - USDA Plants Database - Horticulture Information - USDAFS Forest Products Lab
All material © 2017 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson