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Earl R. Sluder
Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) is common and reaches its greatest size in the southern Appalachian Mountains where it is called mountain silverbell. This attractive shrub or small tree, also called snowdrop-tree or opossum-wood, grows in moist soils along streams in the understory of hardwood forests. It has a moderate growth rate and lives about 100 years. The wood is soft and close-grained and a favorite wood for crafts. The white bell-shaped flowers and small size make it a desirable tree for landscaping. The seeds are eaten by squirrels and the flowers provide honey for bees.