Styrax obassia

Fragrant Snowbell

Plant Type:


Styrax obassia - I saw my first specimen of the Fragrant Snowbell from the distance of 150 yards or more at Wavehill in the Bronx, NY. From afar I could see its magnificent upright oval form and the white clusters of flowers. As if I'm not accused often enough of being large-mouthed my jaw hit the ground. Upon close inspection the individual fragrant dangling white bells were trussed along the 8- to 10-inch concave racemes. The foliage was round and bold. Bark was medium brown and attractive. At that moment I knew I would grow this tree. And so we are. As the tree ages it will become more rounded from its more upright oval youth. When the foliage falls you are left with attractive wood, some fine fissures and exfoliations plus interesting sinuous branches for a most handsome winter candidate. Though autumn leaf color is not common Styrax obassia in the occasional year may achieve yellow, golden-brown and sometimes even red tones. Altogether, Fragrant Snowbell is a good four season tree. Full sun to three-quarters shade siting planted in fertile soil with organic amendment. Seed or cutting grown.


20-30 ft


10-25 ft



Characteristics and Attributes for Styrax obassia

Season of Interest (Flowering)

  • Late Spring

Season of Interest (Foliage)

  • Spring / Summer / into Autumn

Interesting Bark

  • Architectural

Nature Attraction

  • Deer Resistant


  • Morning Sun / Afternoon Shade
  • Full Sun


  • Alee
  • Specimen
  • Accent

Growth Rate in the Garden

  • Moderately Fast


  • Draining
  • Fertile


  • Korea
  • Manchuria
  • Japan

Propagated By

  • Cutting Grown
  • By Seed / Potted