Styrax wood

Styrax (common names storax or snowbell) is a genus of about 130 species of large shrubs or small trees in the family Styracaceae, mostly native to warm temperate to tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with the majority in eastern and southeastern Asia, but also crossing the equator in South America. The resin obtained from the tree is called storax or benzoin (not to be confused with the Liquidambar storax balsam).

The genus Pamphilia, sometimes regarded as distinct, is now included within Styrax based on analysis of morphological and DNA sequence data. The spicebush(Lindera benzoin) is a different plant, in the family Lauraceae.

Storax trees grow to 2–14 m tall, and have alternate, deciduous or evergreen simple ovate leaves 1–18 cm long and 2–10 cm broad. The flowers are pendulous, with a white 5–10-lobed corolla, produced 3–30 together on open or dense panicles 5–25 cm long. The fruit is an oblong dry drupe, smooth and lacking ribs or narrow wings, unlike the fruit of the related snowdrop trees (Halesia) and epaulette trees (Pterostyrax).

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