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Euscaphis japonica

Common Name(s):

Description

Euscaphis japonica, commonly called the Korean sweetheart tree, is a 12 to 20 foot high 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. 

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 2 to 4 foot 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.

There are no known serious problems with insects or disease.

Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#bark#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#tree#colorful leaves#winter interest
Cultivars:
Tags:
#deciduous#fall color#bark#drought tolerant#specimen#shrub#tree#colorful leaves#winter interest
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Euscaphis
    Species:
    japonica
    Family:
    Staphyleaceae
    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
    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:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Color:
    Red/Burgundy
    Display/Harvest Time:
    Fall
    Fruit Description:
    Heart-shaped seed capsules that turn an intense cherry-red in fall and open to reveal black seeds.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Insignificant
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Size:
    > 6 inches
    Flower Description:
    Small, 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:
    Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    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 emerald green leaf has 7 to 11 leathery, fine-toothed, glossy, slender-pointed leaflets.
  • Bark:
    Bark Color:
    Light Brown
    Bark Description:
    Unusual violet-chocolate with white stripes in winter.
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Theme:
    Winter Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought