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Styrax japonicus Snowcone Japanese Snowbell Styrax japonicus Snowcone also called the Japanese Snowbell Snowcone, is a cultivar of the Styrax japonicus family of small deciduous trees that was developed by the J. Frank Schmidt Nursery in Boring, Oregon. Unlike other Styrax trees in the family, Snowcone does not suffer from annual twig dieback in the spring. Instead, brilliant green new foliage emerges on every wide spreading fan-like branch during the spring months to create a robust, full tree with no unsightly dead twigs.
As spring progresses into summer, large drooping bell-like flowers unfurl. The blooms have bright yellow centres and a subtle, pleasant fragrance. Snowcone produces an abundance of drooping flowers that often rustle in the breeze. The flower clusters dangle below the foliage and give it the appearance of being covered in frosty white snowcones. The blossoms always draw thirsty bees and butterflies to the garden. The Japanese Snowbell Snowcone is long flowering and it is not uncommon for the tree to retain flowers until autumn.
Following flowering, decorative grey-green fruit mature to a shade of white on the tree. The fruit is small and hangs down from the foliage. It persists on the tree until November.
During the autumn, the glossy fine-textured slightly serrated green foliage turns a brilliant golden hue. After the foliage falls from the tree, Styrax japonicus Snowcone still creates visual wintertime interest with its graceful lateral limbs that sweep upwards in a unique form. The new bark is smooth with a grey-brown shading. As it matures, the bark turns an orange-brown colour and features a fissured appearance.
When fully grown, the Styrax japonicus Snowcone stands approximately 7.5 meters with a canopy width of about 6 meters. Its form is typically wide spreading fan like branches. The small size makes it ideal for virtually any landscape. Styrax japonicus Snowcone has a fibrous root system that prefers moist, well-draining soil but can tolerate sandy or clay conditions. For optimum growth, plant Japanese Snowbell Snowcone in full sun or light to open shade. During the tree’s first few summers it requires weekly watering until established. Even after the tree is established, it will still require periodic summertime watering during times of drought.