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Japanese Judas Tree Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Other Common Name(s):

Description

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. Medium-size deciduous tree; bark shaggy on old trunks, with loose ends. 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

Form:  Pyramidal when young; full and dense; great variability with age; stiff arching branches

Quick ID Hints:

  • Tree, fall foliage reddish-purple
  • Leaves opposite, heart-shaped

Requires ample water for establishment; utilized in larger areas - golf courses, parks, commercial sites, occasionally a street tree; fall leaf color reddish-purple, odor of "cotton candy"; poorer color on alkaline soils. Difficult to transplant; requires rich, moist, well-drained soils; pH adaptable.

Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aureum'
  • 'Heronswood Globe'
  • 'Pendula'
  • 'Ruby'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#bark#playground#children's garden#pollinator plant#fantz
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Aureum'
  • 'Heronswood Globe'
  • 'Pendula'
  • 'Ruby'
Tags:
#fragrant#deciduous#fall color#shade tree#bark#playground#children's garden#pollinator plant#fantz
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Cercidiphyllum
    Species:
    japonicum
    Family:
    Cercidiphyllaceae
    Play Value:
    Attracts Pollinators
    Shade
    Dimensions:
    Height: 40 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 30 ft. 0 in. - 60 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Tree
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Arching
    Pyramidal
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Usda Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4a, 4b, 5a, 5b, 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Green
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Length:
    1-3 inches
    Fruit Description:
    The seed is inside a pod type fruit. 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. 2-4 on pedicel, elongate capsules ; seeds paper thin & winged.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Green
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Description:
    Insignificant flowers are produced on dioecious (having separate male and female) trees. They appear in early spring and are wind-pollinated. Dioecious; male flowers with calyx & numerous stamens; female flower with 4 winged sepals, 4-6 carpels.
  • Leaves:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Blue
    Gold/Yellow
    Green
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Orange
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Cordate
    Obtuse
    Ovate
    Reniform
    Leaf Margin:
    Serrate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    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. opposite to subopposite, suborbicular to heart-shaped, crenate-serrate, obtuse, cordate.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Dark Brown
    Light Brown
    Surface/Attachment:
    Shaggy
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Recreational Play Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Children's Garden
    Pollinator Garden
    Design Feature:
    Shade Tree
    Attracts:
    Pollinators