Emmenopterys Henryi (Xiang guo - Flora of China)

Native to China and Vietnam, it is a deciduous, hardy tree with spreading branches and sweetly scented white flowers. Please contact us for stock availability and sizes.

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Hardiness level Green

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A hardy deciduous tree growing to 45 metres over around 1000 years or so. Quite long-lived. Native to China and Vietnam, this lovely tree is still an uncommon find in the UK so this is one for those wanting a rare specimen to intrigue visitors with. Lofty in time (give it some centuries) over here they achieve a height of around 12m and while they can be slow to do this, their graceful spreading form and large leaves make for a lovely statement tree.

The new leaves emerge a foxy bronze and with quite startling crimson petioles. The pale-yellow veining and edges accentuate the graceful ellipse of the leaf, making each a work of art. The plant hunter Ernest Wilson, who introduced it to the UK in 1907 described it as one of “the most strikingly beautiful trees of the Chinese forests”. So, there you go.

Our maritime climate, while an advantage in numerous ways, does mean that their beautiful bunches of white flowers are a very infrequent treat. We need a very long and cold (truly cold…China cold) winter followed by a lengthy hot summer before this tree deigns to bloom. There’s one at Kew’s country location, Wakehurst Place in West Sussex, which flowered magnificently in 1987…and we think they’re still waiting for round two.

Happy on acid, alkaline or clay soils that are moist but well drained, in a southerly or westerly position avoiding persistent strong winds.


N.B. When clipping several plants with the same tool, have a bucket containing a 5% bleach solution and swish your blades around for 30 seconds between plants to sterilise them. This will help avoid the chance of cross contamination of disease.

As with all woody plants, plant high, exposing as much of the taper at the base of the trunk as possible. Allowing soil to accumulate round the base of a tree can be fatal. Keep very well watered when first planted.


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