Cercidiphyllum japonicum is a beautiful tree which can grow to more than 30m in its native Japan and China, however in Britain plants rarely reach more than 15m.
It has a rounded conical crown and attractive heart shaped leaves in opposite pairs. Katsura is a plant which gives interest all year round, with its constantly changing colour displays.
In spring, its leaves flush out pinkish-bronze, gradually turning to a lush green in summer. Autumn brings brilliant displays of orange yellow and red and in our opinion the best quality is the accompanying smell of burnt sugar and candy floss which drifts gently in the breeze. Neither the flowers or fruits are particularly significant.
Best grown in a rich, fertile soil avoiding sites which are windy or with hot afternoon sun as the leaves can scorch. May not colour as well in autumn on alkaline soils.
Name: Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Common Name: Katsura
Demands: Avoid dry soils, can scorch in wind and hot sun.
Foliage: Heart shaped in opposite pairs. Flushed pink in spring, then green. Fiery colours in autumn and caramel scented.
Flower: Insignificant in spring
FACT: Cercidiphyllum japonicum, known as the Katsura from its Japanese name カツラ, 桂.
Cercidiphyllum japonicum 4-5m multistems plants
Semi mature Katsura 20-25cm girth standards
6-7m specimen multistems
Fiery autumn colouring
14-16-18cm girth standard Katsura
Fresh coppery growth in spring time
Cercidiphyllum foliage glowing in the low autumn sunshine