Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Halesia tetraptera

Since the last few posts have been about Central Park Zoo, I'll stay there for a bit longer, at least to talk about Halesia tetraptera, or Carolina silverbell.



Carolina silverbell is a small understory flowering tree that can ultimately reach a size of 30-40 feet (there's a larger one on the north side of Central Park bandshell, too). It has a lemony fall color that is evident in these photos, and in mid-spring the plant is covered with white bell-shaped flowers.



But today, and even after the leaves have fallen, the notable characteristic that remains is the seedpods. Tetraptera literally means four-winged and refers to the four flattened corners of the seedpod. Halesia is named for a botanist, Stephen Hales.



4 comments:

how it grows said...

I love these trees. I think there's supposed to be a pink variety, but I've never seen it.

Jennifer G. Horn said...

It's a favorite of mine, too. I read about the pink cultivars, but personally I think it diminishes the pristine quality of the bell shaped flowers....

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