Halesia diptera, commonly known as two-winged silverbell, is a small deciduous tree or large shrub that is native to floodplains, stream banks, wet woods and swampy areas primarily along the Gulf Coast from South Carolina and northern Florida west to Texas. It grows with a rounded form to 20-30’ tall. Showy clusters (3 to 6 flowers per cluster) of bell-shaped white flowers (less than 1" wide) with deeply lobed petals appear in spring (April-May). Flowers are followed by flattened two-winged fruits (dry drupes to 2” long) that ripen in fall. Oval to obovate, irregularly toothed, dark green leaves (4-8” long). Leaves turn yellow in fall. Bark exfoliates in thin scales.
- Scarify the seeds by nicking or sanding the seedcoat.
- Soak the seeds in water for 24 hours.
- The seeds like moist, well-drained soil. Prepare a mixture of half potting soil and half sand, perlite or vermiculite. Put the soil in a pot. Water the mixture so that it is moist but not wet.
- Plant the seeds 1" deep. Plant 1 seed per pot.
- Water the seeds.
- Place the pots in an area with warm temperatures in full sun or part shade.
- When the seedlings are a few inches tall, they can be transplanted.