5. Japanese Snowbell Tree

(Styrax japonicus)

Other Common Names: Storax, Snowbell, Benzoin

Family: Styracaceae

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Anderson Hall's lawn has a small tree whose hard wood and petite white "bell" flowers in June make it a lovely and practical tree. Insect pests and diseases avoid this species, and as long as it doesn't suffer summer drought it serves as an excellent understory tree. In the fall the shiny leaves turn yellow making a bright addition to shady Pacific Northwest gardens.

Japanese Snowbell Tree wood is strong and has traditionally been used to make prayer beads and umbrella handles in Asia. The smooth attractive bark has interlacing fissures of orange and brown, making it interesting to view in the winter as well as the summer. Be warned: the flowers are known to attract large numbers of bees, so be careful when viewing the bark up close in the summer time.


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