Title: Styrax americanus Lam.
Author: Connor, K.F
Source: In: Francis, John K. ed. 2004. Wildland shrubs of the United States and its Territories: thamnic descriptions: volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. IITF-GTR-26. San Juan, PR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, and Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 737-738.
Description: American snowbell, also known as mock orange or storax, is a deciduous shrub or small tree with a widely branched crown. It reaches 3 to 5 m in height, and the stems can reach 7.5 cm in diameter. While the bark on the stems is smooth and dark grey to brown, branches range in color from green to grey to red-brown. Young stems are pubescent, becoming glabrous with age. The alternate, simple leaves are 2.6 to 9 cm long, ovate to elliptic, entire to finely serrate, glabrous above, and pubescent beneath . The leaf apex is acute, venation is pinnate. The showy, fragrant white flowers for which the plant is noted form in racemes from April to June. American snowbell is found in the Southeastern United States, from Virginia south to Florida and west to Louisiana and eastern Texas. It will grow as far north as southern Missouri, southern Illinois, Indiana, and southern Ohio but is rare, endangered or possibly extirpated in Ohio and Illinois. Flowers are complete and their placement hypogynous. They occur in 2.5 to 12 cm long racemes, one to four flowers per raceme. Raceme stalks are pubescent. The flowers have five petals, and the white style extends beyond the 10 stamens. The calyx is shallowly five-lobed and has tiny, triangular teeth. The 6 to 8 mm subglobose fruits are one-seeded drupes that mature from July to October. This species is often planted and grows well in cultivation. Since it requires moist soils and prefers shade, it can be seriously threatened by drainage and removal of the forest canopy. Its major pollinators are bees, and the species relies on seed dispersal for regeneration. It is, however, easily propagated from softwood cuttings.
Keywords: species description, Styrax americanus, American snowbell
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Connor, K.F 2004. Styrax americanus Lam. In: Francis, John K. ed. 2004. Wildland shrubs of the United States and its Territories: thamnic descriptions: volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. IITF-GTR-26. San Juan, PR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, and Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 737-738.
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