Styrax japonica, the snowdrop tree

Plant of the month - April

Styrax japonica, the snowdrop tree

Who would not like to stand in June under a 'sky' full of snowdrops? The wish can be fulfilled. Plant in your garden a snowdrop tree (Styrax japonica ) and you will be thrilled.

For the first time it was described by Philipp Franz von Siebold in 1837. The natural origin of Styrax japonica is in the Japanese islands, South Korea and China.

Styrax forms a tall shrubs or small trees, about 4-5 m high. If possible, the crown should not be pruned, because the grey, almost horizontal branches with a lot of small twigs provide a very picturesque sight. The trunk is also grey-brown in colour, quite smooth and slightly grained. Thus, the growth habit is broad oval upright.

The snowdrop tree is deciduous.

The leaves are alternate and small to medium-sized, papery fresh green. In autumn they turn many shades of yellow.

Especially striking are the flowers in June.

Snow-white flower stars, arranged in an umbel of several, hanging from the branches. The plants are overflowing with flowers. They also give off a very pleasant fragrance. Many nectar-gathering insects buzz around the tree, providing a food source in June during a time when flowers are scarce. Flowering Styrax japonica are highlights in gardens and parks.


The fruits look like grey-green peas and adhere until December.

Styrax japonica prefers moist, humus and well-drained, acidic soil.

It is free from pests, requires an off-sun, sheltered location WHZ 6b.

The snowdrop tree has a high ecological value and enriches many plants with its habit.