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A rare variety from the witch hazel family, Parrotiopsis Jacquemontiana is a highly-decorative, large shrub, prized for its good autumn colour and showy blossoms. Although more commonly known as Parrotia, this cultivar is not to be confused with the Parrotia Persica.
In April and May, Parrotia is enveloped by clusters of blossoms. Although the flowers themselves are not particularly showy, they are protected by large, creamy white bracts that look quite striking against bare branches and the unfolding foliage. As the flowering season approaches its end, the toothed, obovate to round leaves appear on the shrub. The wrinkled, glossy foliage is quite attractive and provides interest throughout the year. In the autumn, the leaves turn from bright green to a stunning lush golden and yellow hues.
Native to the West Himalaya, Parrotiopsis Jacquemontiana thrives in deep, moist but well-drained soils that are rich in nutrients. This shrub performs best in neutral or acid soil, but it is moderately lime tolerant. Choose a spot in full sun or partial shade for best results. A large deciduous shrub with an upright growth habit, Parrotia can grow to be 2 to 4 metres high, and up to 3 metres wide. Its lovely natural form is easy to maintain and requires no extensive pruning to stay in shape. Routine removal of dead and damaged branches in late winter is all it takes to keep this shrub looking its best.
First introduced to Europe in 1879, this shrub naturally occurs in Asia, where it grows on high altitudes. When it comes to its constitution, this robust shrub can easily withstand low winter temperatures and is full hardy to the United Kingdom. Although frost hardy, this shrub will appreciate protection from late frosts that could damage its blossoms.
An unusual and attractive cultivar, Parrotiopsis Jacquemontiana is an ideal candidate for a specimen plant. Its striking foliage and eye-catching flowers offer interest for the better part of the year, and during winter, the elegant habit of the bare branches looks equally decorative. Parottia is a good choice for mixed shrub borders as well, especially if paired with cultivars such as Hebe Wiri Mist or Viburnum Opulus Compactum.