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Halesia carolina 'Rosea': 'Rosea' Carolina Silverbell

Edward F. Gilman, Dennis G. Watson, Ryan W. Klein and Deborah R. Hilbert


A North American native tree, Carolina silverbell grows into a 20- to 40-foot-tall tree with a 15- to 30-foot-spread into a pyramidal silhouette. The 2- to 4-inch-long leaves turn yellow in fall and are among the first to drop in autumn. The tree prefers sandy loam and begins blooming when only 10 to 12 feet tall. The pink, bell-shaped, showy blossoms are borne in 2- to 5-inch-long clusters. Flowering occurs along last year’s branches in mid-May on the previous season's wood. Because the flowers point downward, they are partially hidden by the foliage and best viewed from below. Other ornamental features are the yellow fall color and the bark, which peels off in large, flat scales. The pale-yellow fruits are quite attractive as they hang down from last year's branches. Carolina silverbell may transplant poorly in the fall.

Middle-aged Halesia carolina 'Rosea': 'Rosea' Carolina silverbell.
Figure 1. Middle-aged Halesia carolina 'Rosea': 'Rosea' Carolina silverbell.
Credit: UF/IFAS

General Information

Scientific name: Halesia carolina

Pronunciation: hal-EE-zhee-uh kair-oh-LYE-nuh

Common name(s): 'Rosea' Carolina silverbell

Family: Styracaceae

USDA hardiness zones: 5A through 8B (Figure 2)

Origin: native to North America

Invasive potential: native cultivar

Uses: specimen; street without sidewalk; deck or patio; tree lawn 3–4 feet wide; tree lawn 4-6 feet wide; tree lawn > 6 ft wide; container or planter

Figure 2. Range.
Credit: UF/IFAS


Height: 20 to 40 feet

Spread: 15 to 30 feet

Crown uniformity: irregular

Crown shape: round, upright/erect, vase

Crown density: moderate

Growth rate: moderate

Texture: fine


Leaf arrangement: alternate (Figure 3)

Leaf type: simple

Leaf margin: serrulate

Leaf shape: oblong, elliptic (oval), ovate

Leaf venation: pinnate

Leaf type and persistence: deciduous

Leaf blade length: 2 to 4 inches, 4 to 8 inches

Leaf color: green

Fall color: yellow

Fall characteristic: showy

Figure 3. Foliage.
Credit: UF/IFAS


Flower color: pink

Flower characteristics: very showy


Fruit shape: oval

Fruit length: 1 to 3 inches

Fruit covering: dry or hard

Fruit color: yellow

Fruit characteristics: does not attract wildlife; showy; fruit/leaves not a litter problem

Trunk and Branches

Trunk/bark/branches: branches droop; showy; typically one trunk; thorns

Pruning requirement: little required

Breakage: resistant

Current year twig color: brown

Current year twig thickness: thin

Wood specific gravity: unknown


Light requirement: full sun, partial sun, or partial shade

Soil tolerances: clay; sand; loam; acidic; slightly alkaline; well-drained; occasionally wet

Drought tolerance: moderate

Aerosol salt tolerance: low


Roots: not a problem

Winter interest: yes

Outstanding tree: yes

Ozone sensitivity: unknown

Verticillium wilt susceptibility: unknown

Pest resistance: free of serious pests and diseases

Use and Management

This tree is interesting all year long, with attractive medium green foliage, pretty flowers, showy fruits, and exfoliating bark. It branches low to the ground, making a nice lawn or specimen tree and when pruned to one central leader can be used as a street tree in residential areas. The bark shows off nicely with foliage removed from the lower branches, and multi-stemmed specimens come-to-life when lit from below at nighttime. They would make a perfect small-sized tree for planting near a deck or patio.

An understory tree best suited for a partially shaded or shaded location, Silverbell prefers moist, fertile soil with an accumulation of leaf litter and/or mulch. The tree grows best if roots are not confined to a small area and are allowed to explore a large soil area. Water during a drought and avoid compacted soil.

Propagation is by seeds sown as soon as ripe or stratified, and by layering, root cuttings, and greenwood cuttings. Small trees and seedlings transplant easily.

Pests and Diseases

No pests or diseases are of major concern.

Publication #ENH448

Release Date:April 2, 2024

Related Collections

Part of Southern Trees Fact Sheets

Related Topics

  • Critical Issue: 1. Agricultural and Horticultural Enterprises
Organism ID

About this Publication

This document is ENH448, one of a series of the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date November 1993. Revised December 2006. and March 2024. Visit the EDIS website at for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

Edward F. Gilman, professor emeritus; Dennis G. Watson, former associate professor, Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering; Ryan W. Klein, assistant professor, arboriculture; and Deborah R. Hilbert, UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center; Department of Environmental Horticulture; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.


  • Michael Andreu
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