Styrax japonicus
Common Name: Japanese snowbell 
Type: Tree
Family: Styracaceae
Native Range: China, Japan, Korea
Zone: 5 to 9
Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet
Bloom Time: May to June
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Medium
Suggested Use: Flowering Tree
Flower: Showy, Fragrant


Best grown in organically rich, acidic, medium moisture, well-drained soils in full sun to part shade. Prune as needed in winter to shape.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Styrax japonicus, called Japanese snowbell, is a compact, deciduous flowering tree with horizontal branching and a rounded crown. It typically grows to 20-30’ tall and as wide, but infrequently can reach up to 50’ tall. It is noted for its pendulous clusters of bell-shaped, mildly fragrant, 5-petaled, waxy white flowers (each to 3/4” diameter) that bloom in May-June. Drooping flower clusters are easily visible because of the upward posture of the foliage. Flowers give way to greenish-brown, olive-shaped drupes that often persist into late autumn. Gray bark fissures on older branches to reveal orange inner bark which can be attractive in winter. Elliptic-ovate, glossy, medium to deep green leaves (to 3” long). Fall color is usually insignificant, however leaves may sometimes turn yellow to red. This tree is in the same family as and closely related to Halesia (silverbell).

Genus name comes from the classical Greek name derived from a Semitic name for these resin producing plants.

Specific epithet means of Japan.


No serious insect or disease problems.


Shrub borders. Open woodland gardens. Lawn specimen.