The type species, Cercidiphyllum japonicum, can reach 45 m in height, and is one of the largest hardwoods in Asia. The other species, Cercidiphyllum magnificum, is much smaller, rarely reaching over 10 m in height. Cercidiphyllum is dimorphic, producing two types of leaves. The juvenile leaves are borne opposite each other, whereas the mature leaves are borne single on short-shoot spurs. Juvenile leaves are ovate in shape with cordate or heart-shaped bases; mature leaves are cordate to reniform in shape with cordate bases. Leaf size varies from 3-8 cm long and 3-5.5 cm broad. The genus is dioecious, having separate male and female trees. The small inconspicuous flowers are produced in early spring and wind-pollinated; the fruit is a cluster of 2-4 small pods, each pod 1-2 cm long with numerous small, flattened and winged seeds. The fruits mature in autumn and release their seeds in autumn through winter.
Katsura is the Japanese name for the tree. The scientific name Cercidiphyllum refers to the close resemblance of the leaves to those of Cercis (redbuds); these two unrelated genera can however be distinguished easily as redbud leaves are alternate, not opposite.
The two species are:
Within Cercidiphyllum japonicum, several cultivars with pendulous branches are grown for their unique weeping habit. Two general types exist. Those with a strong central leader, or excurrent growth, are all one clone originating in Morioka City, Japan. This cultivar is known as 'Morioka Weeping' and can reach over 25 m in height. The other type fails to form a central leader and is rounded in habit. There are several clones of this, including 'Amazing Grace' and 'Tidal Wave'.
BLAZE OF GLORY; Brace Yourselves - We're in for a Flamingly Good Autumnal Show. but How to Make Sure Your Garden Lights Up This Year? Read on .
Sep 02, 2006; Byline: CHRIS BEARDSHAW SHORTER days and cooler evenings give it away: autumn is around the corner. But rather than sink into a...