A comprehensive database of Tennessee native plants
Silverbell, Mountain Silverbell
Halesia tetraptera (H. carolina)
Full sun to light shade; medium moisture level; humus-rich organic loam soil; moderately acid pH.
20-40 feet height by 15-30 feet spread; clusters of 2-5 white, bell-shaped flowers in April and May; oblong seedpods, each containing 2-3 seeds in summer.
Growth Rate: Medium
Maintenance: Mulch to keep roots cool and moist. Exceptionally pest resistant.
Propagation: Seed germination code E. 56-86 degrees F for 60-120 days and then 60-90 days at 33-41 degrees F. Difficult and slow from seed.
Native Region: East Tennessee and the western valley of the Tennessee River
Attractive, small understory tree, low branched and often multi-trunked with a wide-spreading crown. Flowers are its most charming feature, with ½ inch long, bell-shaped flowers drooping delicately along undersides of twigs. Flowers emerge with or before the leaves, and trees bloom at same time as the Redbud. Grows well with rhododendrons and azaleas. One of the best native trees for shady habitats. Best in moist, acidic, organically rich soils in part shade. Susceptible to chlorosis in high pH soils.
Very low wildlife value.