Suspensions of synthetic ye'elimite (C4A3S̄) in a saturated gypsum (CS̄H2) and calcium hydroxide (CH) solution were examined in-situ in a wet cell by soft X-ray transmission microscopy and ex-situ by scanning electron microscopy. The most voluminous hydration product observed was ettringite. Ettringite commonly displayed acicular, filiform, reticulated, and stellate crystal habits. Additionally, pastes with C 4A3S̄, 15% CS̄H2, and varying amounts of CH were prepared and examined with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and isothermal calorimetry. The XRD experiments showed that increasing CH content caused more solid solution (SO4 2 -/OH-) AFm phases to form at early ages (< 1 d) and more monosulfate to form at later ages (> 1 d). Calorimetry indicated that the increased production of solid solution AFm was accompanied with an increase in the initial (< 30 min) rate of heat evolution, and increasing CH generally reduced the time till the second maximum rate of heat evolution due to the formation of ettringite and monosulfate. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.