Katsura Tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)

The Katsura tree's leaves are light green and have a delicate rounded heart shape. In the fall, the leaves turn an apricot yellow and may smell like cinnamon or burnt sugar. This tree's bark is brown or light gray and is slightly shaggy. This tree attracts insect pollinators.

Family: Cercidiphyllaceae (Katsura tree)

Characteristics: The 2-inch to 4-inch-long leaves have a cordate shape. When first emerging, leaves are a bronzy purple, but will turn light green or blue-green with age. In the fall, leaves change to a rich apricot yellow. Male flowers are small and red while female flowers are small and green. The male and female flowers appear on separate trees (dioecious). Pollinated female flowers give way to clusters of green pods. Bark is brown or light gray and slightly shaggy. This tree can be single or multi-trunked. It has a pyramidal shape in youth and a pyramidal to rounded-oval shape once mature. This tree grows 40-60 feet high and wide, though can reach up to 100 feet in the wild.

Foliage: Deciduous (leaves lost seasonally)

Geographic Origin: China, Japan (non-native)

Cultivation Notes: Requires low maintenance. Does best in full sun to part shade. Prefers moist and well-drained soils. This tree requires a good amount of moisture in the beginning years of establishment. It is not very tolerant to drought, especially when young.

Number on Campus: 3

Sources: Dirr, Morton Arboretum, Missouri Botanical Garden