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Halesia tetraptera

Halesia tetraptera Ellis

 

Carolina Silverbell

KingdomPlantaePlants, but not fungi, lichens, or algae (from Stearn’s Botanical Latin)
SubkingdomTracheobiontaVascular plants—plants with a “circulatory system” for delivering water and nutrients
DivisionMagnoliophytaFlowering plants, also known as angiosperms
ClassMagnoliopsidaDicotyledons—plants with two initial seed leaves
SubclassAsteridaeA large class that encompasses asters
OrderEbenalesIncludes ebony, persimmon, silverbell, many others
FamilyStyracaceaeTemperate climate trees and shrubs
GenusHalesiaSilverbells. Named for polymath Stephen Hales
Speciestetraptera“Four-winged,” describing the fruit

About plant names...

Carolina silverbell is native to the southeastern United States. Trees are common in the higher elevations of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Identification: Small, irregular trees may reach 30-40' (9.1-12 m) in height. Bark is smooth and slightly rippled, with gray and green stripes, like muscles. Older trees are furrowed, and rougher. Leaves are dark green, alternate, roughly oval-shaped but quite variable, with smooth margins and pointed tips. Flowers are attractive, bell-shaped, white, hanging in clusters of up to five. Fruits are uniquely shaped, with four “wings” or sections, oval-shaped from the side, looking more like a “+” sign in cross-section. They are 1-1½" (2.5-3.8 cm) long.

Online References:

Halesia tetraptera on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Halesia tetraptera var. tetraptera on Carolina Nature, from Will Cook

Halesia tetraptera at the Vanderbilt University Bioimages web site

Halesia tetraptera at the University of Connecticut Plant Database

Halesia tetraptera on www.treetrail.net

Halesia tetraptera at the Ohio State University PLANTFacts database

Halesia tetraptera at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

Halesia tetraptera on leafsnap.com

References:

Sibley, David Allen, The Sibley Guide to Trees, Alfred A. Knopf, 2009, p. 371

Halesia tetraptera description by Thomas H. Kent, last updated 16 Aug 2013.

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Halesia tetraptera (Carolina Silverbell)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 27 × 21" (67 × 52 cm)

Halesia tetraptera (Carolina Silverbell)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA

Halesia tetraptera (Carolina Silverbell)

9/14/2010 · Garden in the Woods, Framingham, MA
≈ 31 × 43" (78 × 109 cm)

Range: Zones 5-8:

About this map...