Oxydendrum arboreum - (L.)DC.
Common Name Sorrel Tree, Sourwood
Family Ericaceae
USDA hardiness 5-8
Known Hazards None known
Habitats Well-drained gravelly soils on ridges rising above the banks of streams[82].
Range South-eastern N. America - Pennsylvania to Florida, west to Louisiana and Ohio.
Edibility Rating  
Other Uses  
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating  
Fully Hardy Moist Soil Semi-shade Full sun

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Bloom Color: White. Main Bloom Time: Early summer, Early fall, Late summer, Late fall, Mid summer, Mid fall. Form: Oval, Pyramidal.

Oxydendrum arboreum Sorrel Tree, Sourwood

Oxydendrum arboreum Sorrel Tree, Sourwood
Physical Characteristics
 icon of manicon of lolypop
Oxydendrum arboreum is a deciduous Tree growing to 10 m (32ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a slow rate.
It is hardy to zone (UK) 5. It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen in September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs)Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: acid soils and can grow in very acid soils.
It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.


Woodland Garden Canopy; Secondary; Sunny Edge; Dappled Shade;
Edible Uses
Edible Parts: Leaves.
Edible Uses:

Leaves - raw[11, 105, 161]. A pleasant acid flavour[82]. They allay thirst[61].
Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.

Cardiac;  Diuretic;  Refrigerant;  Tonic.

The leaves are cardiac, diuretic, refrigerant and tonic[61, 82]. A tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of asthma, diarrhoea, indigestion and to check excessive menstrual bleeding[222, 257]. It is diuretic and is a folk remedy for treating fevers, kidney and bladder ailments[82, 222]. The bark has been chewed in the treatment of mouth ulcers[222, 257].


Other Uses

Wood - heavy, hard, attractive, very close grained. It weighs 46lb per cubic foot and is sometimes used for panelling, tool handles, bearings etc[82, 229, 235].
Cultivation details
Landscape Uses:Pest tolerant, Specimen. Requires a moist well-drained lime-free soil[200]. Prefers a pH in the range of 4 to 6[200]. Succeeds in light dappled shade or in full sun[200], it appreciates the protection of other tall shrubs and trees[1, 200]. A very ornamental plant[1], it is rather slow growing, especially when growing at the limits of its hardiness[200]. Plants can flower in 4 - 5 years from seed. The flowers are sweetly scented[245]. Transplant with care, plants may take some time to re-establish themselves[200]. The flowers are very attractive to bees[49, 229]. Special Features:North American native, Attracts butterflies, Blooms are very showy.
Surface sow the seed[113] in a shady place in a greenhouse either as soon as it is ripe in the autumn[200] or in late winter[78]. Germination is variable[78]. Put outside in a shady position as soon as it germinates and overwinter in a frame[78]. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on for at least their first winter. Plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer, after the last expected frosts. The seedlings are susceptible to damping off and so should be kept well-ventilated and should not be over-watered. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, July/August in a frame[200]. Layering.
Other Names
Found In
Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :
Related Plants


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Subject : Oxydendrum arboreum  

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