Monday, September 28, 2009


Cercidiphyllum japonicum is one of the two species in the single-genus family Cercidiphyllaceae. Both species are native to Japan and China.

This katsura has a rounded shape, but habits can vary from conical to wide-spreading.

A katsura typically has a multi-stemmed trunk and surface roots.

The bark is grayish-brown and split into thin strips.

The leaves are cordate at the base and either can form a true heart shape with a pointed tip or can be more rounded at the bottom, like these ones.

As they fall off and start to decay in autumn, the leaves emit (so I'm told) a burnt sugar or caramel scent. I'm still waiting to be blasted by it one day when I walk by.

A few leaves are turning yellow already. Fall color can vary from yellow to bronzy pink to red to a mottled mix of the three. When new leaves first come out in spring, they are purplish.

Older branches have these woody nodes from which emerge leaves and buds.

They should give the tree an interesting winter look.

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