Halesia carolina, commonly called Carolina silverbell or silverbell tree, is a small, deciduous, understory tree native to the Piedmont and southern Appalachian Mountains of the southeastern United States. It is typically found growing on lower mountain slopes, bluffs, and stream banks in rich, mesic soil. In the wild, Carolina silverbell typically does not exceed 35' in height (though specimens have been found in the 80-100' range), and is frequently shrubby in habit. (Ours seem to start out more shrubby and will have to be pruned into tree form if that is your preference) Features drooping clusters (usually 2-5 flowers each) of bell-shaped, white flowers (1/2") which appear in April shortly before or simultaneous to the point when the leaves emerge. Four-winged, brownish, nut-like fruits appear in the fall and often persist well into the winter. Dull, finely toothed, dark yellowish-green, ovate-oblong leaves (2-5" long) turn a somewhat attractive yellow in fall, but may drop rather early. Synonymous with Halesia tetraptera (tetraptera meaning four-winged).
There are no serious insect or disease problems. It is susceptible to chlorosis in high pH soils.
This is an attractive, small tree or large shrub for the shrub border or woodland garden. Interesting specimen for the lawn. Grows well with rhododendrons and azaleas.
Adapted from: Missouri Botanic Garden