Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist, acidic, organically rich soils in part shade. May be grown as a large, multi-stemmed shrub or trained as single trunk tree.
Halesia carolina, native the Southeast U.S., is a small understory tree with a broad, rounded crown or a large shrub. In the wild, Carolina silverbell typically does not exceed 35' in height (though specimens have been found in the 80-100' range), and is frequently shrubby in habit. Features drooping clusters (usually 2-5 flowers each) of bell-shaped, white flowers (1/2") which appear in April shortly before or simultaneous to the point when the leaves emerge. Four-winged, brownish, nut-like fruits appear in the fall and often persist well into the winter. Dull, finely toothed, dark yellowish-green, ovate-oblong leaves (2-5" long) turn a somewhat attractive yellow in fall, but may drop rather early. Synonymous with Halesia tetraptera (tetraptera meaning four-winged).
Genus name honors the Reverend Stephen Hales (1677-1761), English physiologist, chemist, and inventor.
Specific epithet means of North or South Carolina.
No serious insect or disease problems. Susceptible to chlorosis in high pH soils.
Attractive, small tree or large shrub for the shrub border or woodland garden. Interesting specimen for the lawn. Grows well with rhododendrons and azaleas.