“Melliodendron xylocarpum–the name means something like woody fruited honey tree–is, according to the 1998 book “Rare and Precious Plants of China,” native to China’s southern provinces at between 500 and 1500 metres. Not an elevation to give much confidence in its cold hardiness, but because it has wintered here completely unscathed since planting (1996), I suspect that it had a more extensive historical range. Melliodendron is in Styracaceae (snowbell family) and monotypic (a single species in the genus) and is probably closely related to Rehderodendron and Sinojackia, both of which have similar ribbed, woody fruits…This  is the third or fourth year that Melliodendron has flowered at UBC. Thankfully, we have 7 individuals–all planted in 1996, all, we assume from the same seed lot (the plants came to us from a commercial supplier)–and the one pictured, which is our finest specimen, will be spared the now constant crush of traffic when the others start flowering more prolifically.”
Today’s photograph is from May of 2011. This is a different plant from the previous entry, and it helps to show some of the flower colour variability between individuals (here, noticeably pinker).