Saturday, November 13, 2010

Distylium

A small family of attractive evergreen relatives of the Witch Hazel native to China. They make excellent landscape plants!

Distylium myricoides ( Blueleaf Isu )
A moderate growing, spreading shrub with interesting layered branching. Some records include: 4 years - 3 x 6 feet; largest on record - 33 + feet ( many centuries old in its native Asia ). The foliage of this Witch Hazel relative is narrow and blue-green.
The bright-red flowers are borne in Febuary.
Hardy zone 7 to 9 ( 6 on sheltered sites )

Distylium racemosum ( Isu Tree )
A slow growing,small evergreen tree native from China to Japan and Taiwan, reaching up to 17 feet in 15 years and eventually up to 33 feet. Some records include: 15 years - 17 feet; largest on record - 82 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet.
The handsome evergreen foliage is glossy deep green. The leaves are narrow, up to 5 x 2 inches.
The red flowers borne in spring resemble that of the Witch Hazel. They are borne in clusters up to 3 inches in length.
The wood is used in the production of furniture.
Hardy north to zone 6b and is very heat and sun tolerant in the Deep South, making a great hedge and windbreak.

* currently looking for trees of this type to photograph, location leads would be greatly appreciated.

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