November Plant of the Month: Parrotia persica – Persian Parrotia
Native to northern Iran, Parrotia persica (the name commemorates German naturalist F. W. Parrot) is a welcome addition to any garden here in the northeastern United States.
This multi-stem shrub or small tree is cultivated primarily for its highly ornamental characteristics: crisp, clear summer green foliage, stunning fall foliage – colors ranging from yellow, orange and red – and its patterned exfoliating multi-colored bark best revealed after leaf drop in late autumn.
Although it is the sole species in the genus Parrotia,
it is a member of the Hamamelidaceae family, and closely related to the genus Hamamelis (witch hazels); its flowers are similar to those of witch hazel – small and maroon – produced on bare stems in late winter.
It is a trouble free (pest and disease resistant) plant best grown in moist, well drained soils.
Extremely variable in size, it can range from 20 to 40 feet tall, 15 to 30’ wide.
Consider using it in the landscape as a specimen planting or as a backdrop planting/screen in the informal border.
Hardy zones 4-8