Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School has the most fabulous Japanese Snowbell Trees right in front by the main entrance! I wait for them to bloom every year and this is year is OUTSTANDING. Close to the left corner of the front of the building is an unpruned beauty nearing full bloom right now. A smaller, carefully pruned, but no less glorious specimen stands on it's own a few yards to the right of the first one and close to the walkway leading to the front entrance. The flower buds are like little snowballs, the open flowers a delight, and the fragrance sweetly intoxicating.
Botanically known as Styrax japonicas, the Japanese Snowbell is a small deciduous tree that slowly grows to 20 to 30 feet in height. It has a rounded canopy with a horizontal branching pattern spreading 15 to 25 feet. With lower branches removed, it forms a more vase-shaped patio-sized shade tree. The smooth, attractive bark has orange-brown interlacing fissures adding winter interest to any landscape. The white, bell-shaped, drooping flower clusters of Japanese Snowbell are quite showy and beautifully fragrant from May to June.
Several glorious specimens are reasonably priced for sale at Parker Gardens.