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Euscaphis japonica

Phonetic Spelling
yoo-SKAY-fis juh-PON-ih-kuh
Description

Euscaphis japonica, commonly called the Korean sweetheart tree, is a 12 to 20 foot high hardy perennial shrub or small tree in the bladdernut or Staphyleaceae family.  This is a J.C. Raulston Arboretum introduction and it is rare to find one in cultivation. J. C. Raulston discovered the Korean sweetheart tree in 1985 on the Korean Peninsula while participating in a U.S. National Arboretum collection expedition. He brought seeds back to the North Carolina State Arboretum for assessment and evaluation. 

Korean Sweetheart grows best in medium moisture, well-drained, sandy soil or loam in full sun to part shade. You can expect more success growing as a transplant than attempting to grow from seed. It will tolerate brief periods of drought, but best performance is in soils with consistent and even moisture. You should avoid planting in areas of hot and dry summers.The plant has a horizontal form with branches that are open and irregular. The bark is violet-chocolate with white stripes and is quite striking especially in winter. In fall, the leaves turn an unusual mahogany color. The plant's flowers appear in May and June and are small and unremarkable; however, they are followed by heart-shaped seed capsules that turn an intense cherry-red in fall and open to reveal black seeds. Euscaphis japonica is very drought tolerant.

Diseases, Insects, and Other Plant Problems:

There are no known serious problems with insects or disease.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#bark#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#tree#colorful leaves#winter interest
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#bark#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#tree#colorful leaves#winter interest
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euscaphis
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Staphyleaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    China, Japan
    Dimensions:
    Height: 12 ft. 0 in. - 20 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 10 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Shrub
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Horizontal
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
    Texture:
    Medium
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Loam (Silt)
    Sand
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6b, 6a, 7b, 7a, 8b, 8a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    Abundant, heart-shaped seed capsules that turn an intense cherry-red in fall and open to reveal black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Panicle
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Small (1/4 inch), yellow flowers in terminal panicles to 9” long. They appear from May to June and are followed by heart-shaped seed capsules that turn an intense cherry-red in fall and open to reveal black seeds.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Leaf Value To Gardener:
    Showy
    Deciduous Leaf Fall Color:
    Brown/Copper
    Purple/Lavender
    Leaf Type:
    Compound (Pinnately , Bipinnately, Palmately)
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Lanceolate
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    > 6 inches
    Leaf Description:
    Each 6 to 10 inch long emerald green leaf has 7 to 11 leathery, fine-toothed, glossy, slender-pointed leaflets.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Red/Burgundy
    Bark Description:
    Unusual violet-chocolate with white stripes in winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Woodland
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought