Pterocarya rhoifolia

5 Sep

Pterocarya rhoifolia (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pterocarya rhoifolia (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Position: Full sun

Flowering period: Early Summer

Soil: Moist, well drained

Eventual Height: 30m

Eventual Spread: 25m

Hardiness: 6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a

Family: Juglandaceae

Pterocarya rhoifolia is a fast growing medium to large deciduous tree. Its mid green leaves are odd pinnate and are up to 40cm long and composed of up to 25 leaflets. Its leaflets are ovate to oblong with entire margins, are up to 12cm long and 4cm broad. In autumn its leaves turn yellow before thy fall. Its grey green bark has shallow fissures which are coloured orange. Its monoecious flowers are pale green, racemose, up to 30cm long and wind pollinated. Its fruit are a nutlet, up to 1cm across and ripen in late autumn to early winter.

Pterocarya rhoifolia Leaf (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pterocarya rhoifolia Leaf (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pterocarya rhoifolia, commonly known as the Japanese Wingnut, Sawagurumi, and Shui Hu Tao, is native to the eastern coastal regions of China and Japan. In its native habitat it grows along river and stream banks.

The etymological root of the binomial name Pterocarya is derived from ancient Greek meaning ‘winged-nut’. Rhoifolia may be derived from the Greek roa meaning ‘pomegranate’ and fullon meaning ‘leaf’. Reader feed back would be welcome on this definition.

Pterocarya rhoifolia Bark (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

Pterocarya rhoifolia Bark (28/07/2012, Kew Gardens, London)

The landscape architect may find  Pterocarya rhoifolia useful as an unusual specimen tree with hanging fruit on damp soils, particularly on river edges.

Ecologically, Pterocarya rhoifolia fruit is attractive to some birds and mammals.

Pterocarya rhoifolia prefers moist, fertile, well-drained soils. It tolerates most pH of soil. It will not tolerate dry soils.

Pterocarya rhoifolia requires little maintenance.

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