Cercidiphyllum japonicum – Katsura Tree –


Cercidiphyllum – Katsura Tree –

There is a single species of a deciduous tree, in this genus. It occurs in woodlands in China and Japan. It bears insignificant, tiny, dull red flowers borne in early spring before the heart shaped leaves, males and female flowers are produced on separate plants. Flowers on female plants are followed by small greenish, pod like fruit. C. japonicum is grown for its foliage, which is reddish when young then green in summer and turns a mixtures of yellow, pink, oranges and reds in autumn. It is best grown as a specimen tree in spacious settings, or as a street tree. Foliage is easily damaged by late frosts.

Grow in deep fertile, humus rich, moist but well drained soil, preferably neutral to acidic, in sun or dappled shade, sheltered from cold, dry winds. Plants often develop several main stems, but may be trained as a central leader standards.

C. japonicum – This pyramidal, later rounded and sometimes very wide spreading, deciduous tree grows 4-70′ feet tall and 50′ feet wide. It produces opposite, sometimes alternate, heart shaped leaves, to 4″ long. Bronze when young, the mid green leaves turn yellow, pink, orange, and red in autumn and color best on acidic soil. Fallen leaves smell of burnt sugar.

Zones 5-9