Leaf Characteristics
  • broad, flat leaves
  • simple leaves
  • not lobed
  • fine, double teeth
  • all teeth same size
  • shorter stem
  • all side veins same length
  • leaves long, not narrow
  • veins curved
  • 5 - 7 inches
Fruit Characteristics
  • other fruit (not cone, winged, acorn, or in pod or capsule)
  • in a small capsule
  • capsule without floss
Oxydendrum arboreum

This medium-size tree occasionally will grow to heights of 60 or 70 feet, but this usually is in the southern Appalachian Mountains. In 1982, the Ohio Forestry Association recorded an unusually tall, 74-foot specimen of this tree in Vinton County, Ohio. The thick bark of the Sourwood is gray to brown, deeply fissured, and it has narrow, scaly ridges. This tree grows in moist but well-drained soils that contain a large amount of humus. It requires acid soil. It generally grows with oaks and pines on valley slopes and in uplands. The Sourwood ranges throughout much of the southeastern United States to northern Florida and westward to Louisiana. Ohio is at the northern edge of its range and the tree is found only in a dozen or so southern counties. Although attractive as an ornamental, the Sourwood "is rather difficult to transplant and is not common in cultivation." The wood has little or no commercial value. Sometimes woodworkers make tool handles and small turned articles from its wood. Deer browse on the tree's twigs. In some areas Sourwood honey is much admired.

Tree Size height 20' - 50' diameter 18'' - 20'' Bark Flower