Found throughout the North Florida Panhandle, the American snowbell, Styrax americanus, is a native small flowering tree. In his book, The Trees of Florida, Gil Nelson describes the blossoms as charming with “the thin, reflexed (flower) petals curve back over the flower base, leaving an attractive mass of yellowish stamens protruding from the star-shaped corolla”. It has dark green deciduous foliage, with the tree reaching up to 16 feet in height. The attractive blooms appear April – July.
Considered as an understory tree, American snowbell grows best in wet partially shaded areas and is somewhat tolerant of full sun. It prefers wet places such as swamps, wet woods, edges of cypress ponds and moist to wet, cool, acid sandy to sandy loam soils. Wet areas of the home landscape where water puddles occur provide adequate growing conditions for the American snowbell.
Wildlife benefits include nectar for bees and butterflies and edible fruit for birds. To try American snowbell in the landscape, check with local native plant nursery or search online. Note: other Styrax species can be found online that are non-native.
Other source: The Native Plant Database