Terminal Panicles of Flowers of Sourwood

Sourwood or Sorrel (Oxydendrum arboreum)

Family: Heath (Ericaceae)
– Type: Deciduous Tree
– Native Range: Eastern North America
– Sun: Full sun to part shade
– Location: Arbor Gate Gardens, Alamance County Center
– Latitude: 36° 5′ 50.172″ N, Longitude: 79° 24′ 19.026″ W
– Forage: Nectar and pollen
Flowering begins around June 10th to June 30th in Piedmont of NC. Noted as a prime nectar source for bees, and for the sourwood honey that is produced from it. The waxy, lily-of-the-valley-like, white flowers bloom on slender, drooping, one-sided terminal panicles (4-8” long) in early summer. After pollination has occurred, each flower rotates to a vertical position. Flowers have a slight fragrance. Other noted members of the Heath family include: rhododendrons, blueberries, huckleberries, and azaleas.