The sourwood is a beautiful tree with fragrant white flowers in the summer and red-purple leaves in fall. The blooms are the source of a wonderful honey beloved by connoisseurs for its flavor, pale color, and rarity. Shoots of the sourwood were said to be used by certain Native American tribes to make arrowshafts. The sourwood is part of the family that also contains blueberries and cranberries, rhododendrons, and heaths and heathers.
Leaves3-8 inches long, 1.5-3.5 inches wide, alternate arrangement, elliptical shape, red-purple in fall
Fruit0.3 inch capsules that spontaneously split open when mature, persistent, showy
FlowerShowy, small, white, urn-shaped; fragrant; bloom in June and July
BarkBright red and green twigs, grayish-brown older bark