Sunday, September 23, 2012

Isu Tree

Distylium
A small genus of evergreen shrubs and trees, related to Loropetalums and the Witch Hazels, that is native to eastern Asia.

Distylium myricoides ( Blue Leaf Isu Tree )
A moderate growing, gracefully arching, layered, spreading, evergreen shrub, reaching up to 12 x 8 feet. that is native to mountain evergreen forests in China. Some records include: 5 years - 3 x 7 feet; 8 years - 5 x 8 feet. It makes an excellent substitute for the overabundant Otto Luyken Cherrylaurel.
The narrow, oblanceolate, leathery, eucalyptus-like leaves are up to 4.5 x 1.6 inches in size. The foliage is glossy blue-green.
The puffy deep red flowers are borne during early spring.
The flowers are followed by a woody capsule.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 in full sun to partial shade on acidic to neutral, fertile, well drained soil.

'Lucky Charm'
A low, spreading form, developed by Piroche Plants in British Columbia, that reaches a maximum size of only 5 x 8 ( rarely taller than 3 ) feet. It is great for massed plantings and slopes.

Distylium racemosum ( Isu Tree )
A dense, upright, evergreen, large shrub to large tree, reaching a maximum size of 60 ( rarely over 20 ) feet, that is native to Korea, southern Japan and neighboring parts of China. Some records include: 30 years - 20 feet; largest on record - 100 x 50 feet with a trunk diameter of 4 feet. It makes a great evergreen hedge or windbreak in the southeastern U.S. Long lived, it can persist as long as 600 years.
The oval leaves are up to 5 x 2 ( rarely over 3 x 1.5 ) inches in size. The thick foliage is glossy deep green.
The small, deep red flowers are borne in clusters up to 3 inches, during late spring.
The fruits are small, brown woody capsules.
Hardy zones 6b to 9 in full sun on moist, acidic, light, fertile soil though it does tolerate heavy clay. It is very heat and drought tolerant; it thrives in the southeastern U.S. It is pest, and disease free and generally easy to grow. Distyliums are considered to be deer resistant. They are easily transplanted from containerized plants. Pruning is generally not needed, however tip pruning after flowering and during early summer will encourage denser habit. Propagation is easy from cuttings.

Hybrids
These are the hybrids between Distylium myricoides & D. racemosum. Care is the same as Distylium racemosum.

‘Blue Cascade’
Compact, sreading and weeping in habit, reaching up to 3 x 8 feet in 5 years, eventually 4 x 10 feet possible.
The foliage is bronze-purple at first, turning to deep blue-green.
The red flowers are borne from the leaf axils during late winter.
Hardy zones 7 to 9 ( reports of 6 ) in full sun to partial shade.

* photo taken on Oct 17 2014 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on July 15 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Oct 22 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Jan 1 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Sep 13 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Dec 20 2016 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Mar 25 2017 in Columbia, MD


‘Emerald Heights’
Fast growing, dense, rounded and upright in habit, reaching up to 5.5 x 8.5 feet in 5 years, eventually more. Some records include: fastest growth rate - 3 feet. The layered branching gives it an exotic effect.
It is great for evergreen screening.
The attractive leathery foliage is glossy deep green.
The small, red, axilliary flowers are borne during late winter.
Hardy zones 7 to 9

* photo taken @ Smithsonian Inst, Wash., DC on Aug 25 2014

* photos taken on Sep 3 2012 in Columbia, MD

* photo taken on Apr 11 2013 in Odenton, MD
* photos taken on Apr 11 2015 in Columbia, MD

* photos taken on Apr 13 2016 in Odenton, MD


‘Vintage Jade’
A moderate growing, low, groundcover form, reaching up to 4 x 11 feet. Some records include: 5 years - 2 x 8 feet. Vintage Jade is great for covering large areas.
The foliage is glossy deep green.
The deep-red flowers are borne late winter.
Hardy zones 6b to 9 in full sun to partial shade.