Friday, October 24, 2008


Katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) is one of my favorite trees for fall color. In fact, it's simply one of my favorite trees (at least in the small, ornamental size). This is what it looks like right about now.

One of the other remarkable things about this tree is its wonderful texture. This is partly attributed to the very unusual leaf margin. The leaf margin is the edge of the leaf. Some leaves have a serrated margin (like Ostrya virginiana, for example) while some are entire (Quercus phellos). The leaves on Cercidiphyllum have a scalloped leaf margin and look like they have been cut with pinking shears.

They also sit on the branches in a striking manner -- evenly ranked and with leaves perpendicular to the ground.

You can also see that this is one of those few trees with leaf orientation that is not opposite, not alternate, but sub-opposite.

Of course, the long fibrous strips of gray bark isn't too bad either.

Cercidiphyllum is named for having Cercis-like leaves, as the heart shape leaf certainly appears on both of these species.

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