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Gardening in the Rainy Zone.
HEARTLEAVED DISANTHUS, REDBUD HAZEL
Pronounced: diz-AN-thus ser-si-di-FOE-li-us
Sunset zones: 4-7, 14-17.
USDA: zones 5-8.
Height: 10 feet (3 m).
Width: 10 feet (3 m).
Four inch long, heart-shaped, glaucous, blue-green leaves. Fall colors of orange, red and purple.
Sun or partial shade.
Acidic, fertile, rich, moist, well-drained soil.
Side-dress with compost.
Keep pruning to none or a bare minimum. In late winter only prune crossing or wayward stems.
Pests and Diseases:
Rainy Side Notes
This genus has only one species--Disanthus cercidifolius. It likes the same type of conditions as Rhododendrons--acidic, moist, rich soil--and protection from wind. Our naturally acidic NW soils are perfect for this deciduous shrub. Keep well watered during our summer drought.
One of the showiest red fall color, Disanthus cercidifolius is one of few shrubs that will turn red in partial shade. Grown in full shade, it will thrive but will lose its fall colors. In fall the heart-shaped leaves begin turning colors of purples, followed by gold and orange tones. The finale ends with the leaves turning beautiful reds just before they fall. Related to witch hazels, this species does not have the showy or sweet scent of witch hazel flowers. Its flowers are purple, inconspicuous, and have a medicinal fragrance to the flowers.
Chosen as a Great Plant Pick for 2004 and the Royal Horticultural Society gave it an Award of Merit.
Top photo by author; bottom photo by Lisa Albert.