Parrotia persica

Persian Parrotia, Ironwood




  • native to Iran
  • hardy to zone 5

Habit and Form

  • a deciduous tree
  • 20' to 40' tall
  • spread is similar to height
  • upright oval crown
  • ascending branches
  • low-branched
  • multi-trunked
  • medium texture
  • slow growth rate

Summer Foliage

  • simple, deciduous leaves
  • alternate leaf arrangement
  • crenate to serrate leaf margins
  • obovate leaf shape
  • 2" to 5" long
  • 1 to 2.5" wide
  • somewhat pubescent
  • dark green leaf color
  • reddish-purple new growth

Autumn Foliage

  • orange, red, and yellow fall color
  • showy


  • red flowers
  • blooms in late March
  • showy
  • flowers before leafs out


  • irregular, dry, brown capsule
  • 0.5" in diameter
  • not ornamentally important


  • showy, peeling bark
  • brown slender twigs and pubescent
  • gray, green, white and brown bark color


  • part shade to full sun
  • prefers well-drained, slightly acidic soil
  • does not like wet feet
  • little need for pruning
  • drought tolerant
  • transplant B&B or from container

Landscape Use

  • a specimen
  • street tree
  • container or patio tree
  • shade tree
  • urban tolerant


  • Japanese beetle
  • easily damaged by mechanical damage

ID Features

  • large lanceolate stipules
  • vegetative buds are stalked and brownish
  • globose flower buds, pubescent and brownish black
  • showy peeling bark
  • red flowers before leafs out
  • alternate, simple, deciduous leaves
  • multi-trunked
  • reddish-purple new growth


  • by cuttings
  • by seed


'Horizontalis' - Forms labeled with this moniker are semi-weeping, with a wide-spreading horizontal branching pattern. The fall color is good. It has been suggested that these plants are merely the product of cuttings taken from lateral growth of the species.

'Pendula' - The true item is rarely seen, but it is a stiffly weeping plant that reaches 15' tall and wide with good fall color. Most plants labeled with this name appear similar to 'Horizontalis'.

'Vanessa' - A truly unique form, this plant assumes an upright, columnar habit when mature. It has reddish new growth tips and good fall color.

© Copyright Mark H. Brand, 1997-2015.

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Citation and Acknowledgements: University of Connecticut Plant Database,, Mark H. Brand, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, Storrs, CT 06269-4067 USA.