Plant of the week

November 17, 2007|By VIRGINIA WILLIAMS

Sourwood

Oxydendrum arboreum

One of the most spectacular trees of fall, sourwood simultaneously has bright color and graceful seed panicles resembling flowers. Foliage ranges from yellow to pink to red to purple - sometimes all on one tree, at other times solely brilliant red. Sprays of fragrant urn-shaped flowers appear in June and July. These morph to almost identical seed panicles, which remain into winter. Growth rate is slow, reaching 25-30 feet. This small native tree is happy in full sun or partial shade and Maryland's acid soil. Not the best for polluted urban areas.

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