Belfast Botanic Gardens Tree Archive
This is one of a series of short articles about trees in the Belfast Botanic Gardens compiled by the Friends group. The tree tag number relates to the small aluminium discs, usually fixed on the tree trunk, 2 to 3m above ground level.
This attractive deciduous tree comes from China and Japan. They
are seldom seen of great size in the UK, but can grow to 45m. The genus name
means "with leaves like Cercis". Cercis siliquastrum
is the Judas tree with heart-shaped leaves and attractive pink flowers born
directly on the old stem wood. C. japonicum is the single species
in the genus and the genus is the only one in the family Cercidiphyllaceae.
It is diocious and has rather insignificant flowers but is grown for its attractive
Autumn colours. It also has a most distinctive smell like caramel or burning
sugar. It is sometimes called the toffee tree or toffee-apple tree on account
of the smell. This is most noticeable in Autumn and seems to emanate from
the whole tree - it is not clear from smelling an individual leaf. The young
tree in Belfast Botanic Gardens has not yet started to flower.
Photos taken in Belfast Botanic Gardens in 2009 and 2010. Copyright: Friends of Belfast Botanic Gardens.
Click here to view the rest of the tree archive