Sourwood Tree


The sourwood tree (Oxydendrum arboretum) is native to North America. It is one of our endemic trees that is not found on other continents unless planted. The tree has no related species. A medium-sized tree, the sourwood thrives in hardiness zones 5–9. This tree shines in summer and fall. Its midsummer flowers appear like lilies-of-the-valley, are highly fragrant, and contrast nicely against the green foliage. Then in the fall, leaves turn beautiful shades of brilliant crimson, purplish-red and sometimes yellow. And its flowers are a favorite of pollinators for honey production.

Something sour turns our stomach. Often children spit sour food out of their mouth with an “ugh.”  Although the wages of sin are often sour, accepting and following God — the real true God — is not sour.  When I was a pre-teen, I believed that Christians had no fun and their lives were sour and dour. Wow, was I ever wrong. As a more mature Christian, I know that living with and for Christ makes me radiant and joyful, not sour.

Reflection: If you are a sour, dour Christian, rethink your relationship with Christ. Consider that it might not be as right as you think it is.

Copyright December 22, 2016: Carolyn A. Roth

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One response to “Sourwood Tree

  1. Great insight!

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