Cercidiphyllum japonicum
(Katsura Tree)

Family - Cercidiphyllaceae
Category - Tree
Origin - Japan, China
Year of Introduction - Introduced in 1881
Season of Interest - Spring, Summer, Autumn
Hardiness - H5
Height - 15m or more
Width - 10m
Location - The Grounds

Description: A small to medium-sized Deciduous tree with a pyramidal habit. Rounded to heart-shaped leaves are shades of purple to bronze-red when emerging in spring and mature to bright green. The foliage smells of candy floss or burnt sugar when crushed, and this is most pronounced when the leaves are colouring and falling in autumn and the scent is carried in the air. The inconspicuous flowers are produced in early spring before the leaves emerge. Male and female flowers are produced on separate plants. The leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange and yellow in autumn.

Award of Garden Merit (AGM).

Gallery Images:


Dioecious. Small, petalless flowers are produced from March to April before the leaves emerge. Male flowers are red, female flowers are green, and they are produced on separate plants.

Flower colour: Red, green

Flower shape: Petalless flowers

Flowering time: March, April


Aromatic, Cordate to rounded leaves emerge purple to bronze-red in spring and mature to bright green. The leaves smell of candy floss when crushed. The scent is strongest in the autumn during leaf senescence. The foliage turns vivid shades of red orange and yellow before falling.

Foliage Senescence: Deciduous

Foliage Shape: Cordate, rounded

Autumn Colour: Red, orange, yellow


Cuttings, seed.


Best in full sun or dappled shade in rich, fertile soil that is moisture-retentive soil that is well-drained. Prefers neutral to acidic soil.