By roses382, Jan 6 2016 12:55PM
The Persian Ironwood, Parrotia persica is, I think, my very favourite tree. The autumn leaf colour is outstanding, they make shapely trees, and when mature, have attractive flaky bark, reminiscent of the London Plane. This time of year, when everything is dreary and dull, it always comes as a surprise to spot the flowers, which cover the tree in abundant spidery little clusters, on bare branches. The flowers are quite small and pinky red,similar to Witch Hazel but unfortunately not scented. The overall effect is warm and cheerful, and lifts the spirits in this most dire of winters.
They will eventually make a large, spreading tree. 10m tall by 8m wide, so are not suited to smaller gardens. I have planted two here, one in the Orchard, and one at the back of the barns. They seem quite happy on my soil, and as someone who finds autumn foliage as exciting as high summer in the garden, they make a good alternative to the trickier to grow Acer.