Friday, April 16, 2010


Parrotia persica ( Persian Parrotia )
A moderate growing, dense-canopied deciduous tree native to Russia southwest and south of the Caspian Sea and in northern Iran. It can reach up to 50 feet. Some records include: growth rate - 6 feet; 6 years - 20 feet 10 years - 30 x 20 feet; 20 years - 50 x 52 feet; largest on record - 100 x 60 feet with a trunk diameter of 4.3 feet. One very large tree grows at Morris Arboretum in Philly and is 55 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 3.7 feet or 4.2 feet at the ground. Other very large trees grow at Swarthmore College in PA and at Rutgers Gardens in New Jersey. The Persian Parrotia generally grows with a short trunk and an open canopy.
The alternate, shallow-toothed, obovate leaves are up to 6 x 3 inches in size. The leathery foliage appears early in spring when they are red-purple then turn to glossy deep green. In fall the foliage turns to crimson, orange and yellow often with all colors appearing in the spectacular fall display. The leaves fall very late, often in December.
The flowers appear just before or with the leaves early in the spring. They are small and are nothing more than a bunch of scarlet stamens with a green calyx.
The fruit is a brown, nutlike capsule up to 0.33 inches in size.
The exfoliating fawn gray bark is very attractive on this relative of the Witch Hazel
Hardy from zones 4 to 9; the Persian Parrotia prefers full sun though tolerates partial shade and grows best in deep, fertile, well drained soils. It is NOT prone to insects or diseases and is tolerant of alkaline soils, extreme heat, drought, wind and urban conditions. The Parrotia prefers a continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. Propagation is from seed sown during autumn. The seed should be collected just before they are expelled from the capsules. They should be then sown immediately and can take up to 18 months to germinate. Cultivars of the Persian Parrotia can be grown from softwood cuttings taken in summer. The Persian Parrotia makes an excellent street tree where Oaks and Maples might grow too large; it is also an excellent tree for gardens and parks.
While mature trees require little maintenance ; when young they should be pruned to a single leader and feathered. Remove lower branches and thin in winter.
The Parrotia is likely a very long lived tree.

* photo taken on March 28 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photo taken on Apr 11 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum

* photo taken on April 18 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on July 17 2010 @ Morris Arboretum, Philly, PA

* photo taken on August 4 2010 @ Stratford, Ontario

* photo taken on October 17 2010 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

* photo taken on November 7 2010 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Aug 25 2011 @ Scott Arboretum, Swarthmore College, PA

* photos taken on June 23 2013 @ U.S. National Arboretum, DC

* photos taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Clarksville

* photo taken on July 26 2015 @ Niagara Parks Bot. Gardens, Niagara Falls, ON

* photo taken on Nov 19 2016 @ London Town Gardens, Edgewater, MD

* photo taken on Aug 1 2017 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 3 2017 @ U.S. National Arboretum, D.C.

'Jennifer Teates'
Similar to 'Vanessa', it is also fast growing but also more dense and fastigiate.

Forms a moderate growing, dome shaped mound with weeping branches that can reach up to 12 x 12 feet in 10 years with a maximum mature size of 30 x 30 feet. It looks like a classier oversized Weeping Mulberry.

'Ruby Vase'
Upright and somewhat narrow in habit, with new growth during spring that is deep red, otherwise similar to species.

Very strong growing and upright with late, very long lasting fall color which lasts for many weeks.

* photos taken by Milan Havlis, owner of central Europe's premier plant nursery

* photos taken @ U.S. Botanical Garden, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photo taken on Aug 5 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

* photo taken on Aug 24 2017 @ U.S. Botanic Garden, Wash. DC.

Parrotia subaequalis ( Chinese Parrotia )
A mmoderate growing, spreading, small to medium-sized tree, reaching up to 31 feet with a trunk diameter of up to 2.5 feet. Trees may prove to grow much larger in cultivation with time. Some records include: 3 years - 5.5 feet. It is native to mountain forests in eastern China ( Anhui, S Jiangsu, N Zhejiang ) where it is endangered with extinction.
The sharply-toothed leaves are up to 3.5 x 2 inches in size. The foliage is dull dark green, turning to deep red then intense orange and red during late autumn. The foliage persists late and remains looking great even with temperatures in the upper 20s.
The flowers are deep red-purple.
The fruits are similar to that of Parrotia persica.
The bark is similar to that of Parrotia persica but brighter in color, often resembling Pinus bungeana ( Lacebark Pine ).
Hardy zones 5 to 9, in full sun to partial shade on just about any acidic well drained soil. It is very heat tolerant in the southeastern U.S. Train to a central leader and stake when young.

Parriotopsis jacquemontiana
A beautiful, small, slow growing, upright, deciduous tree native to the Himalayas that can reach up to 10 x 8 feet in 10 years with a maximum mature size of 33 x 20 feet. It coppices vigorously, especially considering its normal slow growth.
The young shoots are hairy and the ovate to rounded, slightly toothed, smooth, glossy deep green leaves ( hairy beneath ) are up to 4 x 4 inches. The foliage turns shades of yellow in late fall.
The flowers appear in large, attractive, creamy white ( with yellow anthers )flowerheads up to 2 inches across in late spring then on and off through the summer.
The fruit is a 2 beaked, oval capsule.
Prefers a sunny to partially sunny, sheltered site on fertile, moist, acidic, well drained soil.
Propagation can either be from seed in autumn or cuttings in summer.
Hardy zones 5 to 7, it survives in zone 4b at Dominion Arboretum in Ottawa, Ontario but has been stunted by frequent winter dieback into small shrub size. Generally easy to grow and not prone to pests and disease.

* photos taken on Apr 23 2017 @ Brookside Gardens, Wheaton, MD

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