Redbud Hazel Disanthus cercidifolium

Redbud Hazel flower  Redbud Hazel leaf

An unusual shrub/small tree from Japan, growing to 5m but more often found as an understorey shrub.

As the scientific name suggests its leaves look those of a Cercis of which Judas Tree is a member and indeed, that is what we first thought this tree was. That is until we saw the flowers in October! They are quite small; about 1cm across, deep red and rather like a spidery starfish. They look superficially like those of a Witch-hazel Hamamelis and indeed this species is in the Hamamelidaceae. One of its other names is Japanese Red Witch-hazel.

The leaves are heart-shaped and turn a deep red in the autumn. In its native area of Japan, it is a superb sight in the autumn.

At Keele : one in Barnes Dell,  just to the south of Lake 3, squares P13 and Q14