Definition of sourwood in US English:



  • A North American tree of the heath family with sour-tasting leaves. Most common in the southeastern US, it has drooping clusters of white bell-like flowers in early summer and bright red foliage in autumn.

    Oxydendrum arboreum, family Ericaceae

    Also called sorrel tree
    • ‘Black gum (Nyssa sylvatica Marshall.), red maple, and sourwood (Oxydendrum arboreum (L.) DC.) occupied the subcanopy, and mountain laurel dominated the understory.’
    • ‘I had gone to Hoyt to see a sourwood tree, which I was told I would find on the Wildwood Trail.’
    • ‘Sugar maples, red maples, dogwood, sweet gum, black gum and sourwood can be brilliant red or yellow.’
    • ‘Eighty new trees will be planted, Kousa dogwood, Eastern redbud, downy serviceberry, sourwood, Yoshino cherry, and tulip poplar among them.’
    • ‘Associated species were pignut and mockernut, hickories, black gum, red maple, sassafras, sourwood, and white ash.’