ing to the grape family. In rich soil from Virginia to Florida, Texas, and Mexico. Also in Cuba. The flowers are small and greenish. The honey flow in Georgia lasts sometimes from the middle of June to September. The honey is dark amber and of fair quality.
SOAPBERRY (Sapindus). — There are three small trees belonging to this genus in the southern states, the sumac-leaved soapberry (S. Saponaria), the Florida soapberry (S. marginatus), and Drummond’s soapberry (S. Drummondii). In Texas Drummond’s soapberry sometimes yields a small surplus, as at Vance. It grows in river valleys from Louisiana to Mexico. Also called Chinaberry and wild China. The small white flowers are in dense panicles. This species must not be confused with China tree (Melia Azedarach), cultivated and growing wild in the Gulf states.
SOAP-BUSH (Porliera angustifolia). — At Uvalde, Texas, bees store honey from soap-bush only in very dry seasons in April. The honey is white, has a good flavor, and granulates quickly. It is usually a shrub, but occasionally a small tree. The large violet-purple flowers are borne at the end of small spreading branches. (Guaiacum angustifolium).
SOURWOOD (Oxydendrum arboreum). — Also called sorrel tree, lily-of-the-valley tree, and elk tree. This is a very important source of honey in the South. It is a fine tree, belonging to the heath family, or Ericaceae, growing 40 feet to 60 feet tall and a foot in diameter. The smooth bark is brownish red, and the young twigs are light green. The leaves are oblong, pointed at the apex, smooth on both sides, and have a sour taste. The numerous white urn-shaped flowers are in slender one-sided racemes, 5 to 6 inches long, which hang in clusters at the ends of the branches. From the resemblance of the blossoms to those of the little perennial herb of the garden, sourwood is often called lily-of-the-valley tree. The popular names sourwood and sorrel tree are derived from the sour odor and flavor of the leaves and twigs. (Fig. 107.)
Sourwood grows in rich woods from southern Pennsylvania to western Florida and southern Alabama, westward to southern Indiana, the Arkansas mountains, and western Louisiana. It is most abundant in the mountainous tract of country occupied by the Alleghenies and the Blue Ridge, but eastward it extends in places as far as tidewater, and westward to central Tennessee. It is planted for ornament as far north as Massachusetts, but as a source of nectar it is chiefly valuable in the mountainous regions of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. It flourishes on high dry soil, and is common on poor woodland ridges, but in the forests along the rivers, where the soil is rich and deep, it makes a much larger growth and they are often beautifully checkered in July by the white blossoms.
Sourwood begins blooming about June 20, and the harvest from this source usually lasts until the latter part of July. The urn-shaped corolla is pendulous and contracted at the mouth, so that the bountiful supply of nectar is protected from both rain and injurious insects. Sourwood is considered one of the most important honey-producing trees of the South. The nectar is secreted in such abundance that it may be shaken in small drops from the bloom. The honey flow is usually dependable: and in localities where it is abundant the beekeeper seldom misses a harvest. In northwest North Carolina the surplus comes largely from this source, and the flow is reliable three years in five. At Brookneal, Virginia, there is a total failure about one year in four. As the honey flow comes so late, the beekeeper has ample opportunity to build up strong colonies which can gather nectar very rapidly during the short honey flow.
Under favorable conditions, sourwood honey is produced in enormous quantities, but it is seldom found in the markets' outside of the region in which it is gathered. It is nearly all consumed in the localities where it is produced, as it is regarded as one of the finest flavored honeys in the United States, and often commands in local markets a premium of a few cents per pound. The honey is white