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June Blooms in my Georgia Garden: Sourwood Tree

One of my favorite native trees is the Sourwood. This tree is lovely in all seasons.

In Spring, new growth is reddish green and very attractive.

Sourwood is sometimes called Lily of the Valley Tree, because in early Summer it is adorned with blooms that resemble Lily of the Valley. These fragrant flower clusters attract pollinators of all kinds.

In late Summer, the bloom spikes develop into decorative seed clusters that remain on the tree usually throughout the winter. In fact, our tree still holds the seed clusters from last year right amidst the flowers.

Fall color is spectacular. Leaves begin to change early, often in August, and by the time cold weather arrives, Sourwood Trees red, burgundy, and purple leaves seem to glow in the sunlight.

Sourwood Tree, Oxydendrum arboretum, is native to the United States. As the common name suggests, leaves have a sour taste.

Wildlife value: honeybees and other pollinators love it. The flowers are an important source of nectar for all pollinators. You've probably seen or even tasted Sourwood Honey.

Sourwood is easy to grow in full sun or part shade whether soil is good or poor. Sourwood even tolerates drought once it is established. If I had to choose the perfect spot for Sourwood, it would be at the edge of a woodland where it receives morning sun and afternoon shade.

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