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Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Common Name(s):
Japanese judas tree, Katsura tree
'Aureum', 'Heronswood Globe', 'Pendula', 'Ruby'

Cercidiphyllum is a genus containing two species of plants, both commonly called Katsura. They are the only members of the family Cercidiphyllaceae. The genus is native to Japan and China and it is one of the largest hardwoods in Asia. Katsura is the Japanese name for the tree. Cercidiphyllum produces spurs along its twigs. These are short stems with closely spaced leaves.  The tree flowers in March or April and produces winged seeds. Several different cultivars are grown, including 'Aureum', 'Heronswood Globe', 'Pendula', and 'Ruby'.

The scientific name Cercidiphyllum refers to the close resemblance of the leaves to those of Cercis (redbuds) but these two unrelated genera can be distinguished easily as redbud leaves are alternate, not opposite.

Play Value: Wildlife Enhancement

Notes: Likes lots of water, decaying fall leaves scented like caramel/burnt sugar 

Seed: Pod

40-60 ft.
Insignificant flowers are produced on dioecious (having separate male and female) trees. They appear in early spring and are wind-pollinated. The the fruit that follows is a cluster of 2-4 small pods with numerous small, flattened and winged seeds. The fruits mature in autumn and release their seeds in autumn through winter.
Sun; requires moist soil; suffers in hot dry sites
Medium to fine
Pyramidal when young; full and dense; great variability with age; stiff arching branches
20-40 ft.
Growth Rate:
Moderate to rapid
short shoots bear broadly cordate or reniform, palmately veined leaves with crenate margins; long shoots bear elliptic to broadly ovate leaves with entire or finely serrate margins. 2-4 in. opposite, simple, rounded leaves; new leaves emerge reddish-purple; turn blue-green in summer; yellow to apricot fall color.
deciduous, fall color, play, playground, fragrant, shade tree, bark, children’s garden

NCCES plant id: 1948

Cercidiphyllum japonicium whole tree Cercidiphyllum japonicium whole tree
Geneva Wirth, CC BY-NC-2.0
Cercidiphyllum japonicium bark Cercidiphyllum japonicium bark
Harum Koh, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Cercidiphyllum japonicium leaves Cercidiphyllum japonicium leaves
Wendy Cutler, CC BY - 2.0
Cercidiphyllum japonicium fall color Cercidiphyllum japonicium fall color
S. Rae, CC BY - 2.0