Sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum) is the sole species in the genus Oxydendrum, in the family Ericaceae. The Sourwood, also known as the Sorrel tree, is native to the Eastern US, ranging from Florida to Pennsylvania and westward to Illinois. The Sourwood tree’s foliage transitions from a rich, dark green in the summer to a red, orange, or purple in the fall. In the spring, the Sourwood bursts with small, bell-shaped white flowers that lend themselves to another of the Sourwood’s alternative names, the Lily-of-the-Valley tree. Its main name, “Sourwood,” however, comes from the taste of its leaves. Despite this acrid taste, tea made from these leaves is often used by mountain climbers as a thirst-quencher, and pioneers once used the sap and bark to treat fevers and mouth pains. The Sourwood tree is also known for the splendid honey that bees make from its flowers. Source.
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