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Gardening Answers Knowledgebase

Knowledgebase record #48

PAL Question 

I have a Parrotia persica tree that has never developed the dramatic purple color that the Sunset Western Garden Book says it should have. Its leaves do turn gold in the fall. What nutrient is it missing? It gets full sun, and is at the top of a sloping area of lawn. I have wondered if the run-off could be leaching something from the soil.

Any suggestions?


According to this article in Fine Gardening online, Parrotia persica only has that purple color as the leaves emerge in spring:
"Reddish-purple when unfolding in spring, the leaves are a lustrous dark green in summer, and yellow to orange or scarlet in fall. Leaves hold their color for a long period. Older branches and trunks develop an exfoliating gray, green, white, and brown color that is a welcome asset in the winter garden. It grows successfully in Zones 4 to 8, tolerates sun and partial shade, and is easy to transplant. Often, vegetatively propagated forms offer more reliable fall color."

According to Dirr's Hardy Trees and Shrubs (Timber Press, 1997), there is some variability in the foliage color: "[...]the developing leaves are reddish-purple to bronze, maturing to lustrous dark green." I don't believe missing nutrients are the reason you are not seeing dramatic purple color but if you are concerned, you can do a soil test for any imbalances.

Keywords Color, Parrotia
Season All Season
Date 2007-12-06

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