Sourwood

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Pieris japonica is in the blueberry family Ericaceae. Commonly known as japanese andromeda, it is native to eastern Asia including Japan and Taiwan. Japanese andromeda is an evergreen medium sized shrub. The new leaves emerge a shade of red, developing chlorophyll and turning green as they mature. The small white flowers of japanese andromeda are arranged in racemes along one side of the inflorescence. Outside of its native range, it is planted ornamentally and grows very well in northern climates.

Sourwood on a cliff.
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New In + Restock

Bee Raw single varietal honey is back in stock. This shipment includes some new rare seasonal honeys we were absolutely wowwed by such as New York Basswood (warm herbal), North Carolina Sourwood (buttery maple), and Oregon Meadowfoam (carmelized custard & burnt sugar). 

These are thoughtful gifts for the foodies, cooks, and tea drinkers in your life. In store and online today.

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We recently planted a 2″ Sourwood in our front yard. They have neat, very Pieris-like bell-shaped flowers in the summer. The bees seem to like it. In fact, there are certain places that make sourwood honey.

Herb (tree) of the Day

Sorrel (Sourwood) Tree 

Oxydendrum Arboreum

While lore on the Sorrel Wood tree is limited, it is a wonderful addition to any magical practice.  As a medicinal the leaves are cardiac, diuretic, refrigerant and tonic. A tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of asthma, diarrhoea, indigestion and to check excessive menstrual bleeding. It is diuretic and is a folk remedy for treating fevers, kidney and bladder ailments. The bark has been chewed in the treatment of mouth ulcers. And as I always say, be sure to check with your primary care physician or licensed Holistic Practitioner before using any natural or folk remedies.

Sorrel wood is a great choice for wands or ritual tools.  It promotes healing and health, balance and beauty.  It’s use in any ceremonial magic or ritual for blessings and good health is a good choice, especially those that have chosen a healing path.  Ritual cups, wands can be used in handfastings, crossings and baby blessings as all require healing, good health and the ability to grow and accept.  

Flowers can be worn on the head, or offered on the altar, and used to dress tables and receiving areas.  Branches may be offered as a healing gift and used in charm bags and amulets.  

Sourwood Honey

Sourwood honey is so rare that a good crop sometimes only surfaces once every decade. Yet, its deep, spicy flavor makes it sought after by honey connoisseurs everywhere. The honey’s scarcity can be attributed to the very small amount of sourwood trees currently growing. The medium-height tree is indigenous to the United States and grows from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia. It is also known as sorrel and lily-of-the-valley. It typically blooms from June to August, providing a small window of time in which beekeepers can bring their colonies to collect nectar from the flowers.