Sinojackia is a genus of five to eight species of flowering plants in the Styrax family, all native to China. They are deciduous shrubs or small trees growing from 15 to 20 feet in height. One of the few in this genus that is available in the west is Sinojackia rehderiana, or Jack tree. The Jack tree is truly one of the ultimate trees for the urban garden as it possesses several characteristics that make it a must-have. Its flowers are similar to Styrax and Silverbells and are an immaculate white. The slender limbs are covered in the star-shaped blossoms for spring.  Then the foliage emerges a clear emerald green which in its season, turns butter yellow for autumn.  And finally, it produces its interesting cylindrical fruits at the end of the season.

The form of the tree is spreading without being sprawling. Its delicate branching reaches no higher than 20 feet, and with a form that is refined and elegant.

Sinojackia is fast growing and quite rare. Of course that means it would take some searching in the connoisseur nurseries to find but it would be worth the effort.  And, at present, it may be easier to find in the nurseries of New Zealand and Australia where it is more popular. It grows well in full sun to partial shade in temperate climates and is fully hardy throughout the UK and most of the US.

Jack tree


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