Halesia tetraptera

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Carolina silverbell
Halesia tetraptera2.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Ericales
Family: Styracaceae
Genus: Halesia
Species: H. tetraptera
Binomial name
Halesia tetraptera

Halesia tetraptera (Common Silverbell[1] or Carolina Silverbell; syn. Halesia carolina auct. non L.[2]) is a species in the family Styracaceae, native to the southeastern United States.

It is a small deciduous tree growing to 10 m tall. The leaves are ovate to lanceolate, 5–16 cm long and 4–7 cm broad. The flowers are 1–2.5 cm long, with a four-lobed white corolla. The fruit is a dry drupe 4 cm long, with four wings running along its length.[1][3][4]

The species is found in scattered populations over much of the eastern United States, as far north as West Virginia, south to northern Florida, and west to Oklahoma. But it is thinly distributed over much of its native range, and is becoming rare in many areas.[5]

Some botanists treat Halesia monticola as a variety of H. tetraptera.[6] This taxon is much larger, up to 20–39 m tall, with larger leaves up to 20 cm long and flowers up to 3 cm long.[7]

It is cultivated as an ornamental tree.


  1. ^ a b KY State Nature Preserves Commission: Halesia tetraptera
  2. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Halesia tetraptera
  3. ^ Huxley, A., ed. (1992). New RHS Dictionary of Gardening. Macmillan ISBN 0-333-47494-5.
  4. ^ Bioimages: Halesia tetraptera
  5. ^ Geographic Distribution: Halesia tetraptera (Carolina Silverbell)
  6. ^ Germplasm Resources Information Network: Halesia tetraptera var. monticola
  7. ^ Rushforth, K. (1999). Trees of Britain and Europe. Collins ISBN 0-00-220013-9.