Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Redbud Hazel

Disanthus cercidifolius
A moderate growing, deciduous large shrub to small tree, it can reach up to 6 x 10 feet in 5 years, 13 x 13 feet in 13 years, eventually reaching a maximum size of 27 x 20 feet. It is native to mountains of southeast China and Japan where it is endangered. Some records include: fastest growth - 1.5 feet. It is related to the Witch Hazels.
The broadly-ovate or heart-shaped leaves are up to 5 x 5 inches in size. The glossy bright green foliage turns stunning orange, red and purple ( often all colors at the same time ) during autumn.
The deep red flowers, up to 0.5 inches wide, appear mid-autumn to early winter.
The bark is grayish-brown. The stems have lenticels.
Hardy zones 4 to 7 ( tolerating as low as -35 F ) in partial shade ( full sun where summers are cool ) on moist, cool, acidic, fertile, well drained soil. It does not enjoy clay or drought. It generally thrives on any soil that grow healthy Rhododendrons and Azaleas. It prefers a climate with cool to cold winters. It is prone to root rot in warm humid climates. Where adapted, it is rarely bothered by insects or disease and the foliage remains healthy all summer. Unfortunately, deer do like to graze on it. Propagation is from layering or cuttings taken during summer. The seed can take up to 3 years to germinate.

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

* historic archive photo

'Ena Nishiki'
Very attractive grayish-green foliage is boldly-margined white.

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