Please submit a search term.

Cercidiphyllum japonicium

Common Name(s):
Katsura tree

From Wikipedia -

Cercidiphyllum is a genus containing two species of plants, both commonly called Katsura. They are the sole members of the monotypic family Cercidiphyllaceae. The genus is native to Japan and China.

The type species, Cercidiphyllum japonicum, can reach 45 m in height, and is one of the largest hardwoods in Asia. The other species, Cercidiphyllum magnificum, is much smaller, rarely reaching over 10 m in height. Cercidiphyllum produces spurs along its twigs. These are short stems with closely spaced leaves. The foliage is dimorphic. According to a recent 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." Leaf size varies from 3–8 cm long and 3-5.5 cm broad.

The genus is dioecious, having separate male and female trees. The small inconspicuous flowers are produced in early spring and wind-pollinated; the fruit is a cluster of 2-4 small pods, each pod 1–2 cm long with numerous small, flattened and winged seeds. The fruits mature in autumn and release their seeds in autumn through winter.

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

The two species are:

Cercidiphyllum japonicum. Throughout the range of the genus. Typically a multi-stemmed tree to 40–45 m tall in the wild, though typically smaller in cultivation. Bark rough, furrowed. Leaves smaller, not over 4.5 cm long and 3.2 cm broad; stipules falling soon after leafing out in spring. Seed winged only at lower end. Plants from China were at one time separated as C. japonicum var. sinense, but no consistent difference between Japanese and Chinese origins has been found.

 Cercidiphyllum japonicum, known as the Japanese Judas-tree, is a species of flowering tree in the Cercidiphyllaceae family that commonly goes by the name Katsura tree. It is native to China and Japan. The tree is deciduous and grows to 40 to 60 feet. Its leaves are round. The tree flowers in March or April and produces winged seeds. Several different cultivars are grown, including 'Aureum', 'Heronswood Globe', 'Pendula', and 'Ruby'.

Cercidiphyllum magnificum. Endemic to central Honsh?, where it grows at higher altitudes than C. japonicum. A small tree, not more than 10 m tall. Bark smooth. Leaves larger, up to 8 cm long and 5.5 cm broad; stipules persistent. Seed winged at both ends.

40-60 ft.
Insignificant flower
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
2-4 in. opposite, simple, rounded leaves; new leaves emerge reddish-purple; turn blue-green in summer; yellow to apricot fall color
shade tree, deciduous, fragrant, bark, fall color

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