Cercidiphyllum japonicum Katsura
Cercidiphyllum japonicum, commonly known as Katsura, is a deciduous tree native to Japan and China. It is a unique and visually captivating tree that is highly valued for its ornamental and aesthetic qualities.
The tree has a broadly conical or pyramidal shape when young, transitioning to a more rounded, spreading canopy as it matures. The bark of young Katsura trees is smooth and brown, but as the tree ages, it develops a shaggy and textured appearance with patches of grey and reddish-brown.
One of the most distinctive features of the Katsura tree is its heart-shaped leaves. The leaves emerge reddish-purple in spring, mature to blue-green during summer, and turn vibrant shades of yellow, orange, or apricot in the fall. The leaves emit a sweet fragrance when crushed or during the autumn colour change, often described as a mix of caramel, cotton candy, or burnt sugar.
Katsura trees produce inconspicuous, small, reddish-brown flowers in spring. The flowers are not particularly showy but add to the overall appeal of the tree. After flowering, Katsura trees develop small, flattened, and winged seed pods that resemble tiny beans. These pods contain small seeds and are typically not a major ornamental feature of the tree.
Katsura trees are highly valued for their striking foliage and unique colour-changing display in autumn, making them popular choices for ornamental and landscape planting. They are often planted as specimen trees in gardens, parks, and along streets due to their aesthetic appeal and moderate growth rate. The sweet fragrance emitted by the leaves during the autumn colour change adds to their charm, making them a sensory delight in the landscape.
Name: Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Katsura’
Approx. Height and spread: 12m x 8m
Position: Full sun – part shade
Soil Ph: All
Moisture: Well drained. Moist, but well drained.
Hardiness: Fully Hardy
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