Styrax obassia • Fragrant Snowbell

Styrax • Japanese Snowbell  • エゴノキ •  斎敦果  • ego-no-ki

Edited 3/31/17: the tree was cut down last year due to disease – replacement is being sought
Edited for spring flower and leaves pic 5/26/13

It’s easily seen growing behind the bench if you are coming down on the path around  roji strolling  the N to S on a service road, but easily missed if you are going the opposite direction, because so many other things attract on the eye level: the roji hedge, Tea House garden behind it and the Tea House itself.  I noticed its attractive vivid green leaves, but never caught it blooming yet; will try the next season, as its flower is what makes it  common name – internet pictures look very charming, I will post some of ours, hopefully next spring…


SJG • 7/8/12 – Styrax obassia • Fragrant Snowbell, SE corner of the hedge around Tea House garden, Area W; pic by Tony


SJG • 7/8/12 – Styrax obassia • Fragrant Snowbell, SE corner of the hedge around Tea House garden, Area W; LEAVES – pic by Tony


SJG • 5/26/13 – Styrax obassia • Fragrant Snowbell: flowers and leaves in spring

From Fine Gardening (in bloom picture at the link):  This plant is a small tree or large shrub reaching 30 feet tall and 20 feet wide. It starts out in a pyramidal shape and becomes more open with age. Fragrant, bell-shaped, white flowers are borne on 4-inch to 8-inch long chains. Flowers dangle from rounded, dark green foliage in late spring, followed by small light brown fruits that usually drop by late fall. […]

From Missouri Botanical Garden:  […]  Native Range: Japan […] Bell-shaped, fragrant, white flowers with showy yellow stamens appear in pendulous, terminal racemes (to 8″ long) in May-June (somewhat late for trees). Flowers are often partially obscured by the large, velvety, oval-rounded, medium green leaves (to 8″ long). Flowers give way to drupes which may persist into late autumn. Smooth gray bark exfoliates on the trunks of older trees revealing an attractive orange inner layer and resulting winter interest. […]

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