Chinese Parrotia or Chinese Ironwood. This rather obscure species of Parrotia when shown in a Japanese botanical reference book has much showier flowers than P. persica. The flowers are apetalous (without petals) with only stamens and even these make quite a show with their bright gold filaments topped with showy amber to gold colored anthers, but our original plant has yet to flower. I don't know what age a plant has to attain before it begins to flower. It was brought to England by Roy Lancaster, who received this clone from Mikinori Ogisu, the well-known Japanese Botanist, both of whom I have met. Our stock plant takes on deep burgundy foliage in late summer which persists for several months, retaining its fall color longer than any other deciduous plant that I have ever seen. From the burgundy fall color, the leaves slowly turn a bright red as seen by the pictures. The brightest red were taken in mid September here in mid zone 8, and these will persist for two months longer. Here in the Deep South, its colors are far more vivid than any Parrotia persica that I have ever seen. Visitors are often asking what this plant is out in the field when seeing it in its gaudy fall colors. As a young plant, it has a rather spreading growth habit, but as it gets older, it will become more upright. It was previously described as Hamamelis subaequalis and Shaniodendron subaequalis until DNA work determined its relatedness to Parrotia, and it was not correctly identified until 1992. This plant has only recently been introduced to the Western horticultural scene. Specimens growing in their natural habitat in China are from 20-30' with the largest having 15" diameter trunks. They are described as having "its bark exfoliating in a dramatic way—shedding jigsaw-puzzle-shaped plates of old, blackish brown bark to expose conspicuous patches of greenish white bark below." Apparently it is quite cold hardy because small specimens growing at the Arnold Arboretum in Massachusetts have been unhurt by the cold.