The Georgia Native Plant Society
Plant Rescue Schedule
A Monthly Guide to Georgia Native Plants
Using Georgia Native Plants
Native Plants for Georgia Part I: Trees, Shrubs and Vines
Native Plants for Georgia Part II: Ferns
Native Plants for Georgia Part III: Wildflowers
Native Plants for Georgia Part IV: Grasses and Sedges
USDA Plants Database
Native Plants of the Carolinas & Georgia
Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Gardens
Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center
Invasive Species Information
DIY Build $6 Garden Trellises out of Red Wood Fence Boards
How to build a trellis for around $4.00
How to Create a Bent Wood Trellis
4 simple Trellises
Willow Sculpture Garden
How to Prune Clematis
Sourwood, Sorrel tree, taken on December 1, 2004.
Photo Credit: Mike Strickland
Oxydendrum arboreum can do well in the home landscape.
Sourwood is truly a tree with year-round interest. Finely-toothed, glossy green leaves appear in the spring. Waxy, lily-of-the-valley-like, and slightly fragrant white flowers bloom on slender, drooping, panicles in early summer. These flowers are quite attractive to bees, and Sourwood honey is a highly prized local product. The fruit capsules darken and remain well after leaf drop in the fall. Usually one of the first trees to put on a fall show, Oxydendrum arboreum leaves turn a brilliant, deep-red in early fall. It is not unusual to see the beautiful fall foliage as early as August. The gray bark on a mature tree is fissured, ridged and scaly, giving the winter landscape much needed texture.
Both the genus name, meaning sour tree, and the common name refer to the acid taste of the foliage. Sourwood is sensitive to pollution, soil compaction, and root disturbance, but experiences few insect or disease damage. A tree grown in the open will reach 30 to 70 feet
Common uses for this plant include: Beautiful flowering specimen tree with multi-season interest for lawns, patios, shade gardens or open woodland areas. Sourwood is important as a source of honey in some areas and sourwood honey is marketed locally.