Poliothyrsis - Care Guide

Growing for Poliothyrsis sinensis

This is a genus of small hardy trees which are closely related to Idesia although Poliothyrsis have rather different capsular fruits. The leaves are ovate and slender pointed with red stalks. The leaves are tinged red when they emerge and covered in white down on both sides initially but later become smooth and dark green.

This tree was planted at Caerhays in 1991 and is currently around 30ft tall with an erect upright habit. It took about 15 years to produce flowers. These are unisexual (unlike Idesia) and whitish in bud opening creamy yellow. The flowers appear in panicles from the terminal buds at the end of the twigs in June to July and are highly fragrant if you can reach them. The flowers become heavy enough to often droop downwards as do the seed capsules.

Our plant grows in full sun but does not often produce viable seed now that it has more competition from surrounding trees. The reference books say it seeds best in full sun and will grow in any fertile soil.

Burncoose have stocked Idesia for some years but this is one of the few times recently that we have been able to offer this related rare and unusual tree. 


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