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Oxydendrum arboreum
Oxydendrum arboreum
Oxydendrum arboreum
Oxydendrum arboreum
Oxydendrum arboreum
Oxydendrum arboreum

Oxydendrum arboreum

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(Sorrel tree or Sourwood) Native South-eastern North America, Oxydendron arboreum is one of the best plants for autumn colour with dark green leaves that turn fantastic shades of crimson or orange and yellow in autumn.

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Native South-eastern North America, Oxydendron arboreum is one of the best plants for autumn colour with dark green leaves that turn fantastic shades of crimson or orange and yellow in autumn. This autumn colour is sensational and will last longest if the Oxydendron is planted in a position which is sheltered from strong gales in late October. Established plants have white, urn-shaped, fragrant flowers in mid summer which stand out well against the darker leaves.

An unusual plant in the United Kingdom, Oxydendron arboreum usually grows to be a small tree in time but  is not particularly vigorous and can be fairly shrub-like in the short-term. 


  • Position: Full sun or light, dappled shade.
  • Soil: Moist yet well drained, acid soil. Oxydendron arboreum will grow best in a soil with a pH of between 4 and 6. Damp soil is fine but it must not become waterlogged or flooded.
  • Hardiness: Hardy. Oxydendron arboreum appreciates shelter from cold winter winds.
  • Flowering Period: July - September.
  • Rate of Growth: Moderate.
  • Habit: Oxydendron arboreum is best considered a shrub in the short term but will eventually grow to be an elegant, small branching tree.
  • Height: 8 m (26 ft) / up to 3 - 4 m (10 - 13 ft) after 10 years
  • Spread: 6 m (20 ft) / up to 2.5 m (8 ft) after 10 years
  • Notes: Oxydendron arboreum will usually not grow well in gardens with alkali or very chalky soils.

How Much Sun
Full Sun
Eventual Size
Shrub - Large (3m+), Tree - Small (4m - 8m)
Growing Conditions
Soil: Damp/Wet, Soil: Acid
Special Features
Autumn Colour, Flowers in Summer, Flowers in Autumn, Suitable for Containers, Rare and Unusual

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