Persian Spire™ Ironwood
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It’s easy to incorporate this slim little tree into your landscape, and you’ll be so glad you did! Persian Spire is a newer variety of a choice, underused ornamental tree known as Persian Ironwood, or Parrotia. This sweet selection is moderately fast-growing, but it will not get terribly tall, and it maintains a neat, columnar habit. Foliage is the main attraction, and it is ever-changing. Persian Spire’s small leaves emerge a purple color, turning to green with a distinct purple-red margin in summer. In fall, the foliage takes on orange and yellow hues, mixed with rosy-red and burgundy. Fantastic!
- Hardiness Zone: 5-9
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You might assume that Parrotia was given its name because its fall foliage can be as colorful as a parrot’s feathers. However, that’s not the case. It was named after Johann Jacob Friedrich Wilhelm Parrot, an explorer in the region where Persian Parrotia was discovered (northern Iran). Even though Parrotia is a wonderful tree, it has remained rather obscure, and few introductions have been made. Persian Spire is one of those few special selections, made at a Salem, Oregon, nursery by John Lewis. It was introduced to the public in 2013.
Persian Spire Ironwood is a member of the Witch Hazel family, and like many Witch Hazels, it features weird little flowers in late winter or earliest spring. Persian Spire’s red blossoms are small and sparse, but it’s a treat to find them in late winter, when hardly anything else is blooming and we are itching for spring to get underway.
How to Grow
Siting your Persian Spire Ironwood in full sun will encourage the brightest colors in its fall foliage, but this tree will grow happily in part shade as well. Plant it in any soil with decent drainage. Regular irrigation is important during the first year or two of establishment; our Elements™ Watering System will help you deliver the right amount of moisture. Feed with Elements™ Fertilizer for optimum growth. Remove any suckers that may appear at the base of the plant. Pests and diseases rarely affect Persian Spire Ironwood, although Japanese beetles can occasionally be a problem where populations are intense.
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