Saturday, September 19, 2015

The "Other" Ironwood

For most of recent history The Persian Ironwood was thought to be a Monotypic plant, alone in it's Genus Parrotia. In 1992 though a curious plant previously classified as a Hamamelis was found to also be a Parrotia, the Chinese Iron Wood, Parrotia subaequalis. 3500 miles away from it's only relative another Iron Wood lived!

Over the past 10 years or so the plant has slowly made it's way into collections and nurseries that grow the weird and the wonderful. We hope to have our first crop of these plants available for sale in 2016.

It's a smaller less vigorous plant than it's Persian cousin but in my opinion it has far superior & reliably red to red crimson fall color. Here is a link to an Arnoldia article that will tell you everything you need to know about the plant and it's interesting history.

Found on a Portland Street!

Over the past few years Portland Oregon, with the help of many volunteers has been conducting a thorough inventory of it's street tree inventory. In 2014 a tree was found growing happily on the verge that at first stumped the folks conducting the inventory. After some research and photos being e mailed around it was identified as Melliodendron xylocarpum a curious member of the Styracaceae Family.

We were asked to see if we could propagate a few, it was too late in the year for softwood cuttings but we had plenty of Halesia liners kicking around and so grafted a few scions onto Halesia carolina which to our surprise & delight lived!