Persian ironwood Hamamelidaceae Parrotia
persica (DC.) C.A. Mey. symbol: PAPE18
Leaf: Alternate, simple, deciduous, inequalateral, 3 to 5 inches long, ovate to obovate, wavy toothed to dentate margin, base often very wedge-shaped, dark green above, paler and slightly fuzzy below, yellow to red fall color, new leaves purplish.
Flower: Very unusual, rounded less than 1/2 inch across, lacking petals but with showy red stamens subtended by brown bracts, appearing in early spring before the leaves.
Fruit: Dry woody capsule (1/2 inch long) that splits when mature, with one shiny brown seed.
Twig: Slender, fuzzy light brown; vegetative buds naked but not obviously so, appearing as a folded, small leaf, lanceolate stipules often persist.
Bark: Initially smooth, gray-brown and lenticellate, eventually becomes very attractive with exfoliating patches revealing pale grays, tans and greens.
Form: A small tree or a multistem shrub to 40 feet with a dense, spreading crown.
Looks like: witch-hazel - vernal witch-hazel - hybrid witch-hazel - dwarf fothergilla
Additional Range Information: Parrotia persica is planted in the USDA hardiness zones shown above and is not known to widely escape cultivaton.
External Links: USDA Plants Database
All material © 2018 Virginia Tech Dept. of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation; Photos and text by: John Seiler, Edward Jensen, Alex Niemiera, and John Peterson; Silvics reprinted from Ag Handbook 654; range maps courtesy USGS from USDA "Atlas of United States Trees" by Elbert L. Little, Jr., Vol. 1 (1971) 3 (1976) 4 (1977) 5 (1978)