Sourwood honey, Oxydendrum arboretum, is made from a beautiful tree. This same tree is used in landscaping for its wonderful fall red-orange colors. Sourwood honey has a spicy sweet taste, some anise aroma, which leaves a pleasant, lingering aftertaste. Sourwood honey has a light color and is said to convert non-honey eaters into lovers of Sourwood honey.
The Sourwood tree is also known as the lilly-of-the-valley tree, growing to a height of 60 feet tall. Sourwood trees grow from Virginia to Florida blooming from late June to August. The bloom of the sourwood tree is a beautiful white bell-shaped flower that hangs in clusters 5-6 inches long.
There are several regions that boast of concentrations of sourwood large enough to produce a single source sourwood honey, they are: North Georgia, Western Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Many other areas may have sourwood honey for sale that has other honeys mixed with the sourwood.
Due to the short bloom season of sourwood trees, the production of sourwood honey is very challenging for the beekeeper. Bee keepers have to find a high concentration of sourwood trees, that enjoy large amounts of sunshine and adequate amounts of rainfall at the required time to produce adequate nectar for honey. The right temperature at the critical bloom time will influence the amount of nectar flow. Then the beekeeper must collect the fresh honey as soon as the sourwood finishes blooming in order to prevent other nectars from being brought in and mixed with the sourwood honey.
The hard work is worth the effort as sourwood makes the list of gourmet honeys. This culinary prize should be on your list. Due to real estate development, small farm sell offs and fires sourwood honey is rare and may soon only be available as a propagated crop.
sourwood honey,gourmet honey