Our Persian ironwood was planted to brighten the park’s existing fall foliage. They are small trees with beautiful exfoliating bark. Native to Iran’s Caspian Sea region, Persian ironwoods grow to between 20–40 feet tall. They thrive in full sunlight, and have no serious insect or disease problems. These trees grow slowly, and eventually develop a round crown of foliage.
Their dark-red flowers appear in the early spring, and give way to splendid green leaves. In the fall, the leaves turn brilliant red, purple, and yellow. Their smooth tan bark peels away to reveal green and yellow patches, giving a welcome sight in the winter months.
Their botanical name Parrotia persica, does not come from the bright color of parrots. But instead, honors the early 19th-century German naturalist F.W. Parrot, who was the first European to climb Mount Ararat, a summit near the tree’s native region.