Silverbells Carolina Halesia tetrapteraThe dainty white snowdrop-like flowers of Carolina silverbell create a lovely sight in spring as they flutter in the breeze on leafless stems. In their native range in southeastern United States they often grow as an understory tree in moist sites but also do well in the garden especially up against a background of dark evergreens that set off the pure white color of the flowers. The flowers are replaced by attractive four-winged green pods that gradually turn brown and persist into winter. Branching is irregular and begins low to the ground and plants may be pruned as trees or multi-stemmed shrubs. The striped bark is attractive in winter.

Silverbells Carolina Halesia tetraptera pods
Seed Pod
Type: Deciduous flowering tree

Outstanding Feature: Flowers in spring

Form: Rounded and broad

Growth Rate: Medium

Bloom: Clusters of small pure white pendulous snowdrop-like flowers in April to early May

Size: 30-40’ H x 25-35’ W

Silver bell Carolina Halesia_tetraptera_bark
Light: Part shade to full sun

Soil: Average, moist, well-drained, pH 5.0-6.0

Hardiness: Zones 5-8

Care: Flowers produced on old growth so prune immediately after flowering

Pests and Diseases: None of significance

Propagation: Seeds (difficult); cuttings; container raised plants are easier to establish than B&B.

Outstanding Selections:

    Var. rosea (light rose to pale pink)
    ‘Variegata’ (green leaves with white or yellow streaks).

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By Karen