Disanthus cercidifolius

wynswrld98(z7 WA)February 18, 2010

Anyone growing Disanthus cercidifolius? I'm looking for a supplier in the greater Seattle/Tacoma area if you know any. Also interested in stories from growers regarding hardiness, special needs, pruning, etc.

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gardengal48

Great shrub and quite underused -- had one in my old garden and and had to get another for my new garden :-) Needs at least part shade and evenly moist conditions.....not happy in our dry summers without irrigation. A little tricky to get established and slow growing. Develops into an irregularly shaped shrub 6-8' tall and as wide. I have never pruned mine (no need) and no indiction of any obvious insect or disease issues. It is related to the witch hazels and produces similar spidery-looking purple flowers in early fall but they are not particularly showy. I grow it for its shade tolerance and outstanding fall color. Hardy to at least -20F.

According to Michael Dirr: "Disanthus cercidifolius is a magnificent, but rare, plant that is worthy of the discriminating gardener's attention."

Many of the larger, better retail garden centers in the area have sold it -- Swanson's, Wells-Medina, Emery's, Valley Nursery in Poulsbo.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 10:31PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Long part of the witch hazel family collection at the Seattle arboretum. One planted with an intact field soil ball on Camano Island has dawdled for some years now, might even peter out.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2010 at 11:52PM
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cloud_shine(7b Willamette Vly OR)

Mine is growing in a tree form rather than as a shrub. I got it for all the reasons you mentioned - fall color, shade tolerance, slow growth - so I hope it's worth the wait. It's still quite small

My plant came from River Rock Nursery.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:09AM
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gardengal48

Another plant included as a Great Plant Pick for this area, so it should not be all that difficult to find in local nurseries.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

The Plant Locator - Western Region (2004 Black-Eyed Susans Press) listed 19 sources.

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 11:42AM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I have three that I raised from seed. All planted in the wrong spot. :-( I was always going to move them, but never did. They are getting way too much shade for good Fall color. I am going to transplant two of them very soon and see how well they take to transplanting after being in place for at least 15 years. It's going to be difficult because they were planted close to Hinokis and Blue China Firs. I don't like transplanting with an ax. ;-)

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 1:18PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Well just cut down those darned conifers then!

    Bookmark   February 20, 2010 at 6:01PM
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botann(z8 SEof Seattle)

I'm cutting off their lower branches. It should help.
These pictures were taken a few years ago.

    Bookmark   February 21, 2010 at 10:50AM
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wynswrld98(z7 WA)

yep, that's the kind of color I'm after!! They look alot like Forest Pansy Redbud fall color.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 1:18AM
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merrygardener(z8olywa)

I have killed two, so I'm putting this one in the same category as the Briggs Moonlight Daphne... not meant for my yard!

    Bookmark   March 28, 2010 at 1:33AM
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akebia(8a Western WA)

They are selling them at Vibrant Plants wholesale nursery, in Woodinville, but they ain't cheap.

Mine croaked, too, and now I'm leery... I want another one but can't afford the wholesale one.

Please let me know if you find a source of seedlings.

Thanks.

Here is a link that might be useful: Vibrant Plants Wholesale Nursery

    Bookmark   June 3, 2010 at 11:31PM
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jmacak(Z8 WA)

I've had a Disanthus for about 4 years now. It was doing great, but started to wilt away about a week ago. Does anyone know what the problem could be? There is no evidence of critters or bugs. Can root rot do this? Nothing else in the vicinty is having a problem. Nearly half the plant is wilted.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2013 at 9:50PM
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merrygardener(z8olywa)

That's what happened to mine before it went to the great compost pile in the sky. I attributed it to uneven (and probably not enough) watering during the previous summer. Maybe that was the wrong conclusion?

    Bookmark   April 29, 2013 at 11:49PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

Dying away of the top of a shrub in general WOULD often be a problem at the root. Which particular problem it might be in this case could vary with the specimen; to see if this species has any known tendencies in that area I would Google something like disanthus dieback etc.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 10:39AM
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