Photo by Melody

PlantFiles: Persian Ironwood, Persian Parrotia
Parrotia persica

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

2 vendors have this plant for sale.

10 members have or want this plant for trade.


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:
Average Water Needs; Water regularly; do not overwater

Soil pH requirements:
Unknown - Tell us

Patent Information:

Propagation Methods:
Unknown - Tell us

Seed Collecting:
Collect seedhead/pod when flowers fade; allow to dry

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There are a total of 27 photos.
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5 positives
5 neutrals
No negatives

Gardeners' Notes:

Positive coriaceous 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.

Positive southeastgarden 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.

Neutral lhorgan 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 :-)

Neutral mellmell 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.

Neutral malusman 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.

Positive delosfox 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 multitrunked shape. Great leaves and bark, which fractures and flakes with age but this is not a sign of disease, only character. The leaves are vulnerable to wind when they change in winter--if you can shelter it you'll have a more impressive display of color through all the changes. Otherwise, yellow changes to orange just before half the leaves are gone, and then you have a few scarlet leaves left over before final drop. Highly recommended and foolproof. Just prune it early and often.

Neutral stressbaby 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.

Neutral patp 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 when the tree is young; it is done in summer and should take the form of shortening the side branches in order to direct additional food material to the leading shoot.

Positive Noodles 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.

I HIGHLY recommend it.

Positive Copperbaron 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.


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

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