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Haverford College
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Arboretum: Styrax japonicus, Japanese snowbell

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June 2014

Styrax japonicus is, as its common name suggests, a native of Asia. It’s a fine-textured small tree growing 20 to 30 feet tall with an equal spread. The white flowers appear in May to June and hang down from the branches like little ballerinas in white tutus. They have a slight fragrance. The resulting fruits look like grey-green olives and are quite attractive as well. They can seed in if the plant is happy.

This pest-free tree makes an excellent choice for planting beside a patio. It takes full sun to part shade and likes a moist, well-drained soil with a good level of organic matter.

You will find both young and mature trees in Running Man Courtyard off Hall Drive at Haverford College. Two older trees also are planted along the entrance walkway to Stokes Hall.

Martha Van Artsdalen