The Sourwood, or Oxydendron arboreum, is an understory tree, native to the southern Appalachian Mountains, where it is perhaps most commonly found growing on rocky, wooded slopes along with other heath family members (e.g., azaleas and rhododendrons). The drooping, cream-colored summer flowers are, however, unique to this sole member of its genus. The brilliant red fall color is as reliable as it is outstanding; Sourwood puts on every fall a display unsurpassed by any other native small tree! The bark is also interesting, exhibiting a corky texture somewhat similar to the Black Tupelo's but more pronounced. This tree requires well-drained, acidic soils and grows 15'-30' high and 10'-12' wide.
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