I love this little tree.  It’s a Styrax Japonica  (Japanese Snowbell) and this is the time it shows off, big time.   I’d wanted a Carolina Silverbell tree but didn’t think it would like the beach.   (Okay, I found out the hard way.  RIP, Silverbell.)  This tree  isn’t supposed to tolerate heat or drought either and looked pretty pitiful in its 1-qt. nursery container.  I bought it eight years ago from a going-out-of-business plant nursery.  The tree’s pickiness was overstated because once it had a real home outside of a container,  it kicked back,  spread out, and settled in.  

We do much the same thing whenever  we come here. 

Styrex 019

The above photo is woefully inadequate.   Stand closer and see the  lovely, bell-shaped flowers:Styrex 013

 When the wind blows, the bells sway and petals fall like snowflakes.  (The first try, I finger faulted and typed snowfakes.   That’s pretty accurate; non-melting snowflakes.)  And the fragrance?  HEAVENLY!! 

Styrex 017

I love to stoop under it and look up into the flowers at the bright yellow stamens, breathing in the fresh smell of spring blossoms.  Even though the tree is in our front yard, not many people see it, hidden as it is behind a Dawn Redwood and by our neighbor’s garage.  Last week I was so anxious to share its loveliness, I stopped a neighbor who was walking her dog and dragged her up to see it. 

“Smell it!”  I urged.

 She was speechless. . . kept repeating saying over and over….

Styrex 002

Ah….CHOO!!!   Ah…CHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  AH–CHOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!


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