Cercidiphyllum japonicum
Common name: 
Katsura
Katsuratree
Pronunciation: 
ser-si-di-FIL-um ja-PON-i-kum
Family: 
Cercidiphyllaceae
Type: 
Broadleaf
Native to (or naturalized in) Oregon: 
No
  • Broadleaf deciduous tree, 40-60(100) ft [12-18(30) m] high, pyramidal when young.  Leaves simple, opposite or subopposite and occasionally alternate, purplish tan when unfolding, then finally bluish-green, are rounded, heart-shaped (resembling Cercis canadensis), 5-10 cm long, neatly spaced in pairs along arching branches.  Supposedly develops a "soft apricot-orange color" in fall, but not spectacular in Corvallis.  Dioecious, i.e., male and female flowers on different plants.  Male flowers appear in spring before the leaves, female flowers appear later, usually as the leaves expand, neither is considered showy.  Fruit a small narrow pod, 2.5 cm long.
  • Sun, but probably best in light shade.  Grows best in moist well-drained soil, pH adaptable, but supposedly has better fall color in acid soils, needs supplemental watering.   Bark splitting and sun scald may occur.  In Corvallis, we frequently observe deformed young leaves for a period in the spring, night frosts are suspected.
  • Hardy to USDA Zone 4    Native to China and Japan.
  • Cercidiphyllum: refers to the similarity of its leaves (phyllum) with those of Cercis.    japonicum: of Japan.
  • Oregon State Univ. campus: front of Shepard Hall and nearby Dearborn Hall, both male and female trees.
Click image to enlarge
  • plant habit, spring

    plant habit, spring

  • plant habit, summer

    plant habit, summer

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • branches with male flowers, spring

    branches with male flowers, spring

  • male flowers

    male flowers

  • female flowers

    female flowers

  • male and female flowers

    male and female flowers

  • plant habit, new leaves

    plant habit, new leaves

  • branches with expanding leaves

    branches with expanding leaves

  • plant habit, summer and fall

    plant habit, summer and fall

  • leafy branches

    leafy branches

  • leaves

    leaves

  • leaves and fruit

    leaves and fruit

  • leaves, comparison

    leaves, comparison

  • plant habit, fall

    plant habit, fall

  • plant habit and leaves, fall

    plant habit and leaves, fall

  • branch, fall

    branch, fall

  • plant habit and leaves, fall

    plant habit and leaves, fall

  • trunk, bark

    trunk, bark

  • twigs and buds, winter

    twigs and buds, winter