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Parrotia persica

 
Parrotia persica
Persian ironwood
Parrotia persica

Common name Persian ironwood
Family hamamelidaceae
Life cycle tree
Flowers red (early spring)
Size to 30'
Light sun-part shade

We've wanted to grow this for a while, finally got around to purchasing one. It took the place of a false cypress that died in our front yard - hopefully that's not a tainted place where nothing will grow. So far, despite being set back by a rabbit gnawing it down to a bare stump in its first winter, it's holding its own. As you can see in the photos, the fall coloring is a great asset – and varies from year to year. It hasn't been in a hurry to put on growth yet, but I did finally spot its flowers: pompoms of shiny, pointy, plump red fingerlets, encased in fuzzy brown bracts. They start to show themselves in winter, and are at their peak in March, long before any leaves appear. They're easy to miss, especially in the corner of our yard where we don't venture much in the cold season – but now that I know they are there, I'll be sure to visit occasionally in late winter.

Persian ironwood
Earliest spring leaves are an asset too - lustrously crinkled, with burgundy edges.
Parrotia persica
Persian ironwood
In these photos, taken in January, the flower buds, covered in dark brown fuzzy casings, are already starting to show the flowers inside, even though the temperatures had been well below freezing the entire week beforehand.

Parrotia persica
Persian ironwood
Aftermath of flowering, noticed in April. There appeared to be two different structures; male and female flowers?

Parrotia persica
Persian ironwood
A fairly ordinary tree in late spring

In our garden, this plant grows in the following area: front yard

One or more images of this plant are included in my stock photo catalog

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Last modified: May 28, 2015
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