February 8
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Plant Genus of the family Styracaceae

Genus Description Cultivation
Halesia This is a genus of 4 or 5 species of deciduous shrubs or small trees indigenous to China and eastern North America. Predominantly found in moist deciduous woodlands, these plants have graceful and attractive spring flowers. Individually the flowers are simple, small white bells, but massed together, moving gently on the breeze, they have an instant appeal. Winged fruits follow in autumn but are not a feature. The leaf is usually a simple mid-green ellipse, up to 5?in (12 cm) long, that colors little before dropping in autumn. Botanists are divided over this genus. Some have reclassified Halesia carolina and divided its various forms between H. monticola and H. tetraptera, another North American species; others consider H. monticola to be a subspecies of H. tetraptera or H. carolina. Whichever is true, it seems probable that one species, most likely H. monticola, will disappear. CULTIVATION: Silverbells are most at home in a moist humid environment sheltered from strong winds. They are cool-climate plants but require a hot summer for best display of flowers. The soil should be well drained and preferably slightly acidic. Pruning is best confined to trimming to shape. Propagate from seed or summer cuttings.
Styrax Found over much of the northern temperate and subtropical zones, this genus includes some 100 species of deciduous and evergreen shrubs and trees. Their foliage is usually a simple rounded leaf with serrated edges, conspicuous veins, and a pointed tip. In most cases the leaves are small to medium-sized, but a few species have large, rather felted leaves that are attractive. The flowers, which are usually fragrant, hang in clusters beneath the foliage of the previous season?s wood. They are white, occasionally with a flush of pink, and open in spring to be followed by 1 to 2-seeded drupes. CULTIVATION: They prefer a cool moist climate with clearly defined seasons but not too cold in winter. Hardiness varies considerably with the species? native range. Propagate from seed, which often needs stratification to germinate well, or by taking cuttings in summer.

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