Oxydendrum arboreum Ericaceae
Sourwood, Lily-of-the-Valley Tree, Sorrel Tree   ok-si-DEN-drum ar-BO-re-um
- Broadleaf deciduous tree, 25-30 ft (7.5-9 m), over 60 ft to even 100 ft in the wild, pyramidal.
Leaves, simple, alternate, 7.5-20 cm × 4-9 cm, elliptic-oblong to lanceolate, serrulate or
entire, dark green, but sometimes a little yellow. Flowers white, urn-shaped, about 6 mm long,
fragrant, in 10-25 cm long drooping clusters. Fruit small, about 8 mm, yellowish at first and then
brown, many in droopy clusters (reminiscent of the Lily of the Valley), which persist after leaf drop.
Foliage may show good fall color, yellow, red, and purple.
- Sun to part shade, acid peaty soil, needs summer moisture, not very competitive, therefore not great as a lawn tree.
- Hardy to USDA Zone (4) 5 Native from Virginia to North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Ohio to Kentucky and Tennessee, grows along stream banks.
- Oxydendrum: from Greek oxys, acid, and dendron, a tree, referring to its acid tasting leaves. arboreum: tree-like.
- Oregon State Univ. campus: in parking lot west of Richarson Hall.