Styrax obassia (Fragrant Snowbell) is a stunning small tree or large shrub that offers a multi-seasonal display of beauty and interest.
Here are the key features and care guidelines for this remarkable plant:
- Fragrant Snowbell is known for its showy, pendulous racemes of fragrant, bell-shaped, glistening white flowers.
- The flowers appear in late spring to early summer, creating a striking display despite flowering after the leaves have fully emerged.
- The golden-yellow stamens within the flowers add a touch of contrast and elegance.
- The large, dark green leaves are broadly ovate or rounded in shape. They transition to a vibrant golden yellow in the fall.
- The smooth gray bark of older specimens exfoliates, revealing orange-brown vertical fissures that provide winter interest.
Size and Growth Habit:
- Fragrant Snowbell grows slowly to a height of 20-30 feet (6-9 meters) and a width of 15-25 feet (4-8 meters).
- Its rounded habit and stunning flowers make it an excellent choice for small trees or large shrubs.
- This plant prefers full sun to part shade.
- It thrives in moist, humus-rich, fertile, and well-drained soils.
- When planting, consider providing a site sheltered from cold, dry winds.
- Once established, Fragrant Snowbell only requires occasional watering during the summer months.
- Fragrant Snowbell is versatile and can serve as a specimen plant in a variety of garden settings.
- It’s a great choice for beds, borders, and cottage gardens.
- Woodland gardens can benefit from the delicate beauty of this tree.
- Its fragrant flowers and lovely foliage make it an ideal choice for enhancing the visual appeal of patios.
Pest and Disease Resistance:
- This plant is virtually pest and disease-free, making it relatively low-maintenance.
Pruning and Propagation:
- Pruning can be done in winter to control the tree’s shape and promote healthy growth.
- Propagation can be achieved through seed or softwood cuttings.
- Fragrant Snowbell is native to Japan.
In summary, Styrax obassia (Fragrant Snowbell) is a captivating tree that offers a delightful combination of fragrant flowers, vibrant foliage, and interesting bark. Its adaptability to various garden settings, low maintenance requirements, and aesthetic appeal make it a valuable addition to gardens seeking year-round beauty.