Thursday, December 3, 2009


This sourwood was at peak fall color about three weeks ago with candy pinks and peaches on the ground...

and some redder leaves still on the tree.

Oxydendrum arboreum, a member of the Heath family, gets both its common and its scientific name from the sour taste of its leaves.

Sourwood bark has deep irregular fissures and is gray with reddish tints in the crevices.

The ovate leaves are about five inches long.

The fruit, in woody capsules, stays on the tree throughout the fall.

Here are two photos of another sourwood from late summer. There are still a few blooms on each raceme. The flowers are reminiscent of lily-of-the-valley.

All the leaves are green, but the flowers give hints of white just as the fruit does in the fall.

1 comment:

  1. These beautiful leaves excruciate. The image of the candy and peach on the path makes me think of you there on that overcast day -- gives a sense of you walking the grounds, how you see the things you want to share.