A very fine, fast growing ornamental deciduous tree, growing ultimately to perhaps 10m in the UK, or as a large to very large shrub.
Halesia monticola vestita grows wild at altitudes of not less than 1,000m in the mountainous areas in south-eastern United States, and so winter hardiness is assured
Halesia monticola vestita has a quite a narrow habit, compared to the more common Halesia carolina which has a more spreading habit and which tends to grow only as a shrub in the UK. Mature specimens exhibit exfoliating bark, which separates from the trunk in large, loose scales.
The leaves are variable in shape from ovate through to elliptical, ranging in size from 50mm to more than 100mm in length, often pointed at the tip, and are densely coated beneath with white wool and remaining downy on the undersides even at maturity. Leaves turn yellow in the autumn.
Lightly fragrant, pendant bell-shaped flowers are produced in clusters of three to five in mid-spring to early summer on slender and pendulous stems of one year-old wood. The flowers, which are produced in profusion, are white, sometimes flushed with a rosy pink, followed by 4-winged pale green fruits.
Native to North Carolina to Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma.
Relatively rare in the UK Halesia monticola vestita deserves to be very much more widely grown.
Plant in full sun or light and dappled shade on any reasonably fertile, moist and well drained soil other than very chalky. Fully hardy in the UK.