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Isu tree Distylium racemosum

Phonetic Spelling
dis-STY-lee-um ray-see-MO-sum
Description

An evergreen large shrub or small tree in the witch hazel family.  In its natural habitat, it typically grows in evergreen oak forests at elevations above 3000'.  For optimum health, plant in an area that is sheltered from strong cold winds.

Distylium hybrids are becoming a popular landscape plant due to the fact that they are evergreen, compact, disease and insect resistant, and are heat and drought tolerant.  They also need little pruning.  

There are no petals on the flowers.  Each has a five-parted, red, downy outer structure and several vivid purple stamens.  

In its native locations, this specimen has grown to heights of 60' and is considered valuable for its wood content which is very hard and a dark color.  This wood is used for making musical instruments.  The ashes from the wood are used in porcelain glazing.

Grown out of its native areas, it will typically grow to a maximum height of 10-15' in height.

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  This plant has no major insect or disease issues.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Akebono'
    Creamy-white new shoots mature to green.
  • 'Guppy'
    Compact habit, small leaves
  • 'Ogisu'
    The leaves have white margins.
  • 'Spring Frost'
  • 'Variegatum'
    Narrow, deformed with irregular margin.
'Akebono', 'Guppy', 'Ogisu', 'Spring Frost', 'Variegatum'
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#cottage garden#rabbit resistant#hedges#large shrub#deer resistant#glossy leaves#screening#leathery leaves#late spring flowers#evergreen shrub#early summer flowers
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Akebono'
    Creamy-white new shoots mature to green.
  • 'Guppy'
    Compact habit, small leaves
  • 'Ogisu'
    The leaves have white margins.
  • 'Spring Frost'
  • 'Variegatum'
    Narrow, deformed with irregular margin.
'Akebono', 'Guppy', 'Ogisu', 'Spring Frost', 'Variegatum'
Tags:
#evergreen#small tree#cottage garden#rabbit resistant#hedges#large shrub#deer resistant#glossy leaves#screening#leathery leaves#late spring flowers#evergreen shrub#early summer flowers
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Distylium
    Species:
    racemosum
    Family:
    Hamamelidaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan
    Play Value:
    Buffer
    Textural
    Dimensions:
    Height: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 3 ft. 0 in. - 8 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Multi-stemmed
    Spreading
    Growth Rate:
    Slow
    Maintenance:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Moist
    Available Space To Plant:
    3 feet-6 feet
    6-feet-12 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    7b, 7a, 8b, 8a, 9b, 9a, 10b, 10a
  • Fruit:
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Summer
    Fruit Type:
    Capsule
    Fruit Description:
    A two-beaked woody capsule following flowering.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Purple/Lavender
    Red/Burgundy
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Raceme
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    Petalless flowers with red calyces and purple stamens form racemes in leaf axils in the late spring to early summer.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Glossy
    Leathery
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Oblong
    Obovate
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Leathery and glossy dark dreen simple leaves with entire margins. Lighter green below.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    Rigid, short branches.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Cottage Garden
    Design Feature:
    Hedge
    Screen/Privacy