Prized by those who know it, the Parrotia is a dense, spreading, short-trunked, or multi-stemmed, deciduous tree 15-25 feet high, with wider spread. Leaves, wider toward the tip, are lustrous, rich-green, often rimmed with deep red. They are clean and elegant through the summer, but their autumn color would be reason enough for including the Parrotia in the landscape. They turn late in the fall, often first yellow, then orange, scarlet, and burgundy before they drop. Winter aspect is enhanced by the bark, smooth, warm gray when the tree is young, peeling to reveal silver, green and cinnamon, like a jigsaw, as the tree matures. An added bonus is the late winter-early spring display of petal-less flowers with showy red stamens in clusters along the branches. Hardy to about -20°, with no pest or disease problems, it prefers deep, fertile, well-drained, loamy soil in full sun, but also does well in heavy clay and light shade.
Zones: 4 to 7
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