Full sun to partial shade
Medium 6"-12" per year
Oxydendrum arboreum, commonly called sourwood or sorrel tree, is a deciduous understory tree that is native to the eastern United States from Pennsylvania south to Florida and Louisiana. It is perhaps most commonly found on rocky wooded slopes in the Appalachian Mountains, often growing in combination with other heath family members (e.g., azaleas and rhododendrons) that share the same acidic soil preferences. In cultivation, it typically grows 20-25’ tall with a straight, slender trunk and narrow oblong crown. In the wild, it may reach 50-60’ tall. Gray bark on mature trees is fissured, ridged and scaly. Finely-toothed, glossy green leaves (to 5-8” long) are reminiscent of peach. Leaves have a sour taste, hence the common name. Leaves produce consistently excellent fall color, typically turning crimson red. Waxy, lily-of-the-valley-like, white flowers bloom on slender, drooping, one-sided terminal panicles (4-8” long) in early summer. Flowers have a slight fragrance.