Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive
This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the black tree maintenance tags, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
Cercidiphyllum japonicum Siebond & Zucc. ex J.J.Hoffm. & J.H.Schult.bis
Black tag 362
This attractive deciduous tree comes from China and Japan. Sizeable
examples are seldom seen in the UK, but they can grow to 45m. The genus name
means "with leaves like Cercis". Cercis siliquastrum
is known as the Judas tree, and has heart-shaped leaves and attractive pink flowers borne
directly on the old stem wood. C. japonicum is the single species
in the genus and the genus is the only one in the family Cercidiphyllaceae.
It is dioecious and has rather insignificant flowers but is grown for its attractive
Autumn colours. It has a most distinctive smell like caramel or burning
sugar. This is most noticeable in Autumn and seems to emanate from
the whole tree - it is not clear from smelling an individual leaf. It is sometimes called the toffee tree or toffee-apple tree on account
of this. The young tree in Belfast Botanic Gardens has not yet started to flower.
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009 and 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
Click here to view the rest of the tree archive