Persian Ironwood, Persian Parrotia

Parrotia persica

Family: Hamamelidaceae
Genus: Parrotia (par-ROT-ee-uh) (Info)
Species: persica (PER-see-kuh) (Info)



Foliage Color:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Water Requirements:

Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Where to Grow:

Unknown - Tell us


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


20-30 ft. (6-9 m)


USDA Zone 4a: to -34.4 C (-30 F)

USDA Zone 4b: to -31.6 C (-25 F)

USDA Zone 5a: to -28.8 C (-20 F)

USDA Zone 5b: to -26.1 C (-15 F)

USDA Zone 6a: to -23.3 C (-10 F)

USDA Zone 6b: to -20.5 C (-5 F)

USDA Zone 7a: to -17.7 C (0 F)

USDA Zone 7b: to -14.9 C (5 F)

USDA Zone 8a: to -12.2 C (10 F)

USDA Zone 8b: to -9.4 C (15 F)

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade



Bloom Color:

Scarlet (Dark Red)

Bloom Time:

Late Winter/Early Spring



Good Fall Color

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:

Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry


This plant has been said to grow in the following regions:


Lake Elsinore, California

Westport, Connecticut

Jacksonville, Florida

Winnetka, Illinois

Clermont, Kentucky

Georgetown, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky

Roslindale, Massachusetts

Fulton, Missouri

Omaha, Nebraska

Belmar, New Jersey

Southold, New York

Davidson, North Carolina

Middletown, Ohio

Portland, Oregon

Orem, Utah

Lexington, Virginia

Reston, Virginia

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Olympia, Washington

Seattle, Washington

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 7, 2014, coriaceous from ROSLINDALE, MA wrote:

There's a magnificent specimen in the Arnold Arboretum (Boston Z6a) that must be over 50' tall.

Excellent fall color (orange to scarlet) here, beautiful exfoliating bark.

The flowers are tiny and only visible on close inspection.


On Oct 7, 2014, southeastgarden from Jacksonville, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

I have grown this plant for several years in two different locations in zone 9a. One is a sunny site in sandy soil without irrigation. The plant has grown very slowly and its leaves start to turn brown and drop in October - a little early compared to most of the region's trees. Another tree is growing in the shade of a live oak tree in a mostly sandy soil with some clay in the soil profile. This area supports ferns and gingers well. It is growing faster than the other tree and its leaves remain green until December or January - depending on winter temperatures. One of the reasons to grow this plant further north is the fall color and it is lacking in zone 9a. However, the interesting bark character of this tree should develop here in time.


On Oct 22, 2012, lhorgan from Lake Elsinore, CA wrote:

This might be a silly question, but I am wondering if any of you think that this gorgeous tree might be able to grow in 9B zone?... I love this tree. Please let me know :-)


On Apr 25, 2010, mellmell from Ong, NE wrote:

I love the shape and texture of this tree's bark. It has not had great fall color here in Nebraska. It also holds onto its leaves most of the winter and into the spring. I have also experienced a good amount of dieback over this past winter (2010). But in years past, it has only lost some branch tips. In spite of all this, it is a beautifully formed tree and I would plant it again.


On Sep 27, 2006, malusman from Peoria, IL wrote:

I have observed the plant for about 10 years growing in irrigated display beds in Central IL. It almost never goes dormant quickly enough and freezes back about half of what it grew the year before. Yesterday I ran into a plant that was hidden "out back" and receiving no irrigation. It looks much better, no sign of dieback. If you weather can change dramatically in the fall, keep an eye on the watering and late season new growth. Have not observed much in the way of fall color here although in other parts of the midwest I have seen nice color.


On Feb 22, 2006, delosfox from Portland, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

I have had no problems with this tree at all. I have acid clay soil which I amended with planting mix in 3' deep by 4.5' wide planting holes. I rarely watered after the first year and use a root irrigator only occasionally in very hot weather when the leaves on the branch tips look like they're suffering. This is a desert tree from Iran, after all. It takes well to poor soil and roots moderately deeply so it's a great tree for parking strips (where I planted mine) and doesn't grow into power lines if you thin the middle branches and allow it to arc naturally outward instead of topping it. No diseases or pests apart from minor leaf holing by insects. Lots of pruning is necessary since it has a very dense habit but it recovers beautifully and branches widely into a candleabra or multit... read more


On Jan 22, 2006, stressbaby from Fulton, MO wrote:

My midwest experience with P. persica is that it is incredibly slow growing, the habit is low branching, bushy, almost shrub-like, it holds it's leaves long into the winter/early spring, and the fall color has been fair at best.


On Oct 6, 2003, patp from Summerville, SC (Zone 8a) wrote:

I live in USDA Zone 8a and would love to have this small tree. The following notes are from the New Illustrated Encyclopedia of Gardening, Volume 8

Parrotia persica is found wild in northern Iran. It belongs to the Witch Hazel family, Hamamelidaceae and the name commemorates German naturalist F. W. Parrot.

Leaves are approximately 5" long by 3" wide. Individual flowers are small but conspicuous by reason of their many red stamens and are borne in dense clusters in late winter or spring. Parrotia persica is increased by seeds sown in sandy soil in a frame as soon as they are ripe, and by layers pegged into sandy soil in spring. It requires a sunny position in well-drained, loamy soil. Pruning should be given special attention ... read more


On Oct 5, 2003, Noodles from Olympia, WA wrote:

I needed a tree for my narrow (15 ft.) side yard. My city (Olympia, Washington) has a free tree program for landscaping the "streetscape" of owners' property (program decimated by budget cuts, but may return). Parrotia is on their recommended list due to its disease-resistance, non-invasive root system, and height (under 25 ft.)

I found an upright form of Parrotia 'Vanessa' that is doing beautifully. It's the typical multi-trunk form, and is a very strong grower. The mostly dark red fall color is very long in developing and remains for many weeks.

Olympia is Zone 8, with 52 inches of rain annually (typically almost none in the summer), and very acidic soil. However, I understand Parrotia grows in a variety of soil types and climates.
... read more


On Jan 6, 2002, Copperbaron from Vicksburg, MS (Zone 8a) wrote:

This is a magnificent tree for fall color going from golden yellow to orange or rosy pink and finally to scarlet - wow!. It is slow growing to 30' or more, but is more commonly seen as a shrub or multitrunked tree.

There are a number of things to like about this tree in addition to fall color. The bark is grey, smooth and, in older trees, flakes off to show white, tan, and green patches. It blooms in late winter/early spring before leafing out and looks like a reddish haze when in full bloom. When foliage first appears, it is reddish purple and matures into a lustrous dark green. Tolerates alkaline soils, but prefers slightly acidic ones and has few pests. This one should be used more in southern landscaping.