Japanese Summersweet . When I saw a specimen of this plant at the Raulston Arboretum in Raleigh, I was speechless. A species which will reach 12-18' with 4-6" terminal racemes of white flowers in mid summer which gracefully droop, similar to our Sourwood. As a matter of fact, it resembles our native Sourwood on steroids, as its racemes are far more showy. It develops a stunning exfoliating bark of a rich cinnamon brown which rivals Stewartia for beauty. Unfortunately, this is one of the more underused plants of this genus. When one needs a small tree for the shade garden where Dogwood have been overused, this would be an excellent choice. In the Deep South, because of our excessive heat, it has performed far better in part shade than full sun. I first grew it in full sun and its foliage was burnt and the growth was stunted, but the minute I moved it into filtered sun, the plants took off. I actually believe that this plant would grow as far south as zone 9 if it is planted in part shade.