South East China - extinct in the wild, cultivated around monasteries for centuries, rediscovered by Westerner in 1690.
10 - 40m x 13 - 26m
A slender erect tree while young aging to a conical dome, lower branches often pendulous. Commonly forms several competing leaders.
Fan shaped, to 95mm across, upper margin variously sinuate sometimes with a central cleft, lower margin entire, alternate on strong vigorous shoots, in 3 to 5 leafed fascicles (bundles) at the end of short lateral spurs, yellow green aging to mid green, turning yellow in autumn.
Dioecious, catkin-like, yellow, inconspicuous, usually hidden among the new spring growth.
Plumlike ovoid drupelike (really a seed covered by a fleshy outgrowth of the ovule) (20 - 30mm x 20 - 30mm) solitary or in pairs, pale green, turning dull yellow when ripe in autumn. The flesh is foul smelling - smells like vomit. The 20mm ovoid nut is ed
Bark / Trunk:
Young twigs pale golden brown with fine shedding bark and large ovoid scaly buds, older bark pale brown, becoming slightly corky. Twigs carry many spurs bearing crowded leaf scars - distinctive in winter outline.
Vigour / Longevity:
Slow growing, moderately slow in good conditions, long lived but can be unpredictable and die suddenly.
Sunny positions in an area protected from harsh winds. Prefers cool elevated areas.
Cold hardy to -10°C, some pollution tolerance.
Soil / Drainage:
Best on deep fertile well drained soils, with a reliable water supply.
Grow vigorously in the early stages and establish a strong single trunk, remove any competing leaders (this is not always possible) these can split as the tree ages.
Best growth on reliably moist soils, not drought tolerant, water in dry periods.
Apply complete fertilisers in late winter till established
Pests / Diseases:
Trees in less than perfect conditions can suffer borer attack in warm areas.
Shade tree, street tree, autumn colour contrast tree, avenue tree (if a grafted form) and foliage contrast tree.
© Text reproduced here with the kind permission of Tony Wilson and Barck Books.