Our Chinese ironwood was planted in 2020. It was chosen because of its rarity and spectacular fall color. These wonderful trees are native to China and close relatives of the Persian ironwood, with both species belonging to the witch hazel family. They reach a height of around 25 feet and have deep-green leaves lined with purple during the summer. In the fall, their foliage changes to gorgeous shades of yellow-orange and burgundy-purple, complementing the bark’s unique patchwork of gray, tan, and green.
Chinese ironwoods are highly endangered in their native habitat, which is why we are so lucky to have one at home in the park. Interestingly, the Chinese ironwood was only named as a unique species within the last 20 years, despite having diverged from Persian ironwood almost 8 million years ago.