Content Detail

Silverbell is a medium-sized tree that produces white bell-shaped flowers in spring. The flowers are followed by dry fruits with four wings. This tree may be difficult to find in nurseries.

  • Family (English) Storax
  • Family (botanic) Styracaceae
  • Planting site Residential and parks
  • Tree or plant type Tree
  • Foliage Deciduous (seasonally loses leaves)
  • Native locale Illinois, North America
  • Size range Medium tree (25-40 feet)
  • Mature height 30-40 feet
  • Mature width 20-35 feet
  • Light exposure Full sun (6 hrs direct light daily), Partial sun / shade (4-6 hrs light daily), Full shade (4 hrs or less of light daily)
  • Hardiness zones Zone 4, Zone 5 (Chicago), Zone 6, Zone 7, Zone 8, Zone 9
  • Soil preference Acid soil, Moist, well-drained soil
  • Tolerances Clay soil, Wet sites
  • Season of interest mid spring, late spring
  • Flower color and fragrance White
  • Shape or form Multi-stemmed, Round, Upright
  • Growth rate Moderate
  • Transplants well Yes
  • Planting considerations May be difficult to find in nurseries
  • Wildlife Insect pollinators, Small mammals
  • Has cultivars Yes

Native geographic location and habitat: 

Native to the southeastern United States.

Bark color and texture: 

Attractive, smooth, gray bark has creamy-white striping. Bark on twigs exfoliates slightly in fine silvery shreds.

Leaf or needle arrangement, size, shape, and texture: 

Simple, alternate leaves are 2 to 5 inches long with an elliptic shape. The margins are slightly serrate. Dark green summer color changes to an attractive yellow or yellow-green.

Flower arrangement, shape, and size:

  Pendulous, white, bell-shaped flowers are in clusters of up to five.

Fruit, cone, nut, and seed: 

Flowers are followed by a dry, 4-winged brown fruit in the fall.

Plant care:

Grows in full sun to partial shade in a moist, well-drained, acidic soil. Chlorosis may occur on high pH soils. Twigs may be killed in severe winters. Prune after flowering in the spring.

List of pests, diseases, and tolerances: 

Chlorosis may occur on high pH soils. Not tolerant of salt or compacted soils. Tolerant of black walnut toxicity.

Crushed Velvet™ Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina ‘JFS-PN2Legacy’):  

This cultivar has smaller leaves with a wavy texture.  It is a more compact tree growing 20 feet high and 15 feet wide.

Pink-flowered Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina ‘Rosea’):

Similar to the species, except it has pink flowers.

Rosy Ridge Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina ‘Rosy Ridge’):

Pink flowers and slightly faster growth rate.

Uconn Wedding Bells Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina ‘Uconn Wedding Bells’): 

Larger flowers on a smaller tree (20 feet high).

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