Large oval leaves emerge yellow, orange, amber, red and purple, stand upright and filter the sun like stained glass. They relax and turn bluish-green as they mature, then put on another color show in fall. Female plants bear 6-10" panicles of tiny yellow-green flowers in early June. As they fade, fuzzy light pink “hairs” emerge and persist all summer, giving the tree a hazy smoky misty quality. These plumes are more subtle than the non-native Smokebush, but the foliage is the real eye-catcher here. Finches love the seeds. Scaly interesting bark.
Thought to be a relic tree from 25 million years ago, it almost went extinct during the mid-19th century when the wood was over-harvested for fence posts, tool handles and orange fabric dye.
Allow it to grow several trunks or prune to a single specimen. Tolerates most soils but prefers well-drained infertile ground. Full sun to partial shade. Native to North America. These are unsexed seedlings. Z4/5. Maine Grown. (1-3' bare-root plants)
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