Styrax americanus Lam. - American Snowbell

Styrax americanus plant

Family - Styracaceae


Styrax americanus stem


Styrax americanus leaf




Styrax americanus calyx

Styrax americanus flower

Flowering - March - June.

Habitat - Swamp forests, streambanks.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This shrubby species can be found throughout most of Alabama but is more common in the eastern half of the state. The plant is easy to identify in flower becasue of its distinctive flowers which have five reflexed petals. When not in flower, the plant is fairly non-distinct and easy to overlook.
The genus name Styrax is the ancient Greek name for trees which produce storax. Storax a natural resin occasionally used in incense or as an aromatic fixative in perfumery. It was used in Eduard Simon's experiments from 1835-1839, eventually leading to the discovery of polystyrene, the first man-made polymer.
The species epithet means "american" as more species are fond in Eurasia.

Alabama Distribution:

Styrax americanus map

Photographs taken at Fort Benning, GA., 5-15-05.

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