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Halesia Growing Guide
Commonly known as ‘Snowdrop Tree’
All three species of deciduous Snowdrop Trees which we offer originate from the USA. All three have pendulous snowdrop-like flowers, produced in clusters on the previous year’s wood and winged fruits. Halesia are members of the styracaceae family and share may of the requirements and characteristics of styrax and rehderodendron.
Halesia like moist, well drained soils, and thrive best in sheltered sunny positions with some dappled shade. They have a central trunk but develop a drooping habit and, where the mature branches touch the ground, elderly trees often layer themselves and produce new growth from the edge of their crowns. Mature plants at Windsor certainly do this.
H. carolina grows to around 25ft with a 30ft spread. The bell shaped white flowers ¾in long hang in clusters of two to six in April and May just before the leaves emerge.
H. diptera grows as more of a shrub with the branches twining in on themselves. It grows to around 15ft with a similar spread and is easily identifiable because its fruits have two wings rather than four. The flowers, which are very similar to H. carolina, appear after the leaves in May or June.
H. monticola grows to around 40ft with a 25ft spread. The bell shaped white flowers are in clusters of two to five and are larger than those of H. carolina. The flowers emerge at the same time as the leaves in May or June.
Propagation from cuttings is difficult. Mature plants are however easy to layer. The winged seeds are easily gathered from these trees and are rock hard. The seed should be sown in the autumn and moved to a cold frame after a couple of months.