HABIT: Deciduous shrub or small tree to 3.5 m., flowering
SIMILAR SPECIES: In vegetative condition, this is a rather nondescript
shrub with entire alternate obovate leaves. In flower, it is similar to Styrax
americanus, with smaller serrated leaves. Both of these species are
extremely rare in Ohio.
TOTAL RANGE: Throughout the southeastern United
States from VA to FL, w. through LA and e. TX, n. to se. MO, s. IL, KY, and
disjunct in se. OH.
STATE RANGE: ATHENS CO.: on a high hill near the Buffalo
Beat, Buchtel, on an outcropping ledge of limestone, 23 May 1925, L.
Stephenson (OS); north end of high ridge, 21 Sept. 1925, J.H. Schaffner
(OS); near Buchtel 24 Sept. 1933, F. Bartley (BHO); near Buchtel, 1933, L.
Stephenson (BHO); near Buchtel, 6 May 1939, F. Bartley (BHO); ---,
n. d., E.L. Braun (US). It seems likely that all these specimens were
collected from the same general area.
STATE STATUS: 1980 to present: Presumed Extirpated.
HABITAT: Low woods to higher, well drained sandy or limy
woods and thickets.
HAZARDS: Unknown, but possibly opening of the canopy by
RECOVERY POTENTIAL: Unknown, but possibly good, as these
plants have been reported to send up extensive root suckers (Spongberg, 1976).
INVENTORY GUIDELINES: Collect mature flowering or fruiting
COMMENTS: The Ohio population of Bigleaf Snowbell is
considerably disjunct from the main range of this species. Since the plant is
showy and occasionally cultivated, there is some doubt as to its being
indigenous to Ohio. However, calcareous area noted for isolated populations of
rare species (Wistendahl, 1975). When in bloom this species is quite
conspicuous. It is unlikely that it could be overlooked. The Athens County site
probably has been destroyed.
Cooperrider, T.S. 1995. The Dicotyledoneae of Ohio.
Part 2. Linaceae through Campanulaceae. Ohio State Univ. Press, Columbus, OH.
Gonsoulin, G.J. 1974. A revision of Styrax
(Styracaceae) in North America, Central America, and the Caribbean. Sida 5: 191-258.
Mears, J.A. 1972. Phylogenetic, biochemical, and
morphological studies with some living specimens of natural extinct or
relictual Styrax species. Bartonia 41: 61-69.
Schwegman, J.E. 1968. Styrax grandifolia in Illinois.
Castanea 33: 348-349.
Spongberg, S.A. 1976. Styracaceae hardy in termperate North
America. J. Arn. Arb. 57: 54-73.
Wistendahl, W.H. 1975. Buffalo, Beats, a relict prairie
within a southeastern Ohio forest. Bull. Toreey Bot. Club 102(4): 178- 186.
Ohio Department of Natural Resources
Division of Natural Areas and Preserves
Created: 2/1985 Allison W. Cusick
Database Code: SPLC.862