Parrotia persica – Persian Ironwood
Botanical Name: Parrotia persica
Alternate Name: Persian Parrotia
The Persian Parrotia or Persian Ironwood (Parrotia persica) is a graceful, small or medium sized deciduous tree with a rounded or dome-shaped growth habit. This tree can be grown as a standard tree or a multi-trunked large shrub. Persian Ironwood grows to a height of 20-40 feet with a spread of 20-30 feet. It is found growing in Northern Iran, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Southern Russia.
The leaves of the Persian Ironwood are large, growing up to 4 inches long. They are oval or oblong in shape. In the spring, they unfold with purple and red tones, which then mature to a glossy medium or dark green in the summer. In the fall, this tree puts on a lovely display when the leaves turn vibrant shades of red, orange, and yellow.
The flowers appear in late winter or early spring before the leaves. They are pretty but inconspicuous. They have no petals but many red stamens that are encompassed by brown bracts. The bark on mature trees creates an interesting display in winter. It exfoliates, showing different colored patches of bark beneath – green, white, or tan.
Persian Ironwood prefers to grow in full sun with moist, slightly acidic, and well-drained soil. However, it will tolerate a wide range of soil types, including clay. It thrives in urban conditions, making it a good selection for planting as a street tree.
No serious disease or insect problems.