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Idesia Growing Guide
Idesia polycarpa is the only species within the genus ‘Idesia’. It is a tall columnar growing tree of up to 40ft in height which comes from China, Korea and Taiwan.
It is not a widely known, popular or well understood tree. However, those who grow it can vouch for the fact it is a wonderful summer flowering plant which will startle you when in flower in June or July. It is another of those trees which every woodland garden needs to extend its flowering season into summer after the spectacular spring panoramas.
It is perfectly hardy in the UK, quick growing and easily recognised by its ovate heart shaped leaves.
Male and female flowers are carried on separate trees and both are needed to produce fruit. The male inflorescences which are scented are borne in panicles of about 6in in length. They are a yellowish-green and tend to droop down from the tips of the stems to give an unusual display. The male flower clusters are similar but smaller and in longer, looser panicles.
Trees with female flowers that are able to set fruit because there is a male tree nearby do so to produce what appear like bunches of grapes with each berry about the size of a pea. The pulpy berry will contain numerous seeds within and turn red when fully ripe.