WSU Clark County Extension

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Persian Parrotia

Scientific name: Parrotia persica

Type:Deciduous tree
Plant Requirements
Zone:5 to 8
Sun:Full to partial sun
Plant Characteristics
Height:40 ft
Width:25 ft
Bloom:Showy flowers
Bloom Time:March to April
Bloom Color:Red
Additional Characteristics



Wildlife value

Description Persian Parrotia is best known for its fantastic pumpkin yellow fall foliage and red winter flowers which appear before the foliage appears. Also known as Persian Ironwood.

This deciduous tree grows to a height of 40’ and perhaps 25’ wide forming a single or multi-stemmed trunk. However, the branches often grow to the ground hiding the trunk anyway.

Leaves are arranged in an alternate fashion. They are simple, 3”-5” long,and ovate to obovate in shape. Leaf margins are wavy toothed. The leaves are similar in texture and shape to Fothergilla or Witch Hazel. During the summer the foliage is dark green but in the fall it turns brilliant shades of yellow-gold to pumpkin orange to purple.

Flowers are unique in that they lack petals and consist of showy red stamens.

Flowers morph to brown fruit pods which consist of 2-valved capsules. When mature the fruit pods open to expose one shiny brown seed within.

The bark of Persian Ironwood is initially smooth, and gray-brown. As the tree ages it eventually becomes very attractive with exfoliating patches revealing pale grays, silver, tans and cinnamon colors.

This tree prefers well-drained, slightly acid (pH 6.0-6.5) loam soils, but will tolerate some alkalinity. It does best in sheltered sites where is shielded from drying winds.

No serious pest problems that would limit its use in the landscape.
For assistance, contact Dr. Charles Brun (, (360) 397-6060 5701
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