Mystery plant 038

You can see this tree throughout the eastern (and somewhat the midwestern) portions of North America.  When you can identify it, please leave a comment with the common and scientific names for the tree.  Also, share any personal stories you may have about it.


Twig during winter season


Young plant in late spring


Tree beginning to bloom


Branch with flowers




Leaves turning color during fall season


Fall foliage




Dried seed capsules


ANSWER (subsequently added to this post to facilitate the “search” function for these images):  Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum)

Also, read the blog post and watch the plant portrait video for Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum).

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7 Responses to Mystery plant 038

    • Angelyn says:

      julie, the leaves (simple not compound), bark (red when young and not tan), and flowers on this tree are quite different from Elderberry.

  1. Tony Ward says:

    Sourwood, Oxydendrum arboreum!

  2. Pamela Wagner says:

    Yes, this is the sourwood or sorrel tree, Oxydendron arboreum, a member of the Ericaeae or heath family. I recognize these Ericaeae in general from their resemblance to blueberries and the blueberry flower…another heath family member. It is fairly easy to recognize the Ericaceae — flowers at any rate — from their similarity to blueberry flowers, to which they all bear a resemblance. Tree size to the tiniest creeper, heath family flowers have a surprisingly similar look (to me at any rate.)

  3. Carol says:

    Oh, I wish we had more of this down here. My honeybees would love getting into those flowers, and I would love it if they did. It’s sourwood.

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