Cercidiphyllum is a genus containing two species of plants, both commonly called Katsura and are native to Japan and China. The trees were first planted at the arboretum at Sir Harold Hillier Gardens in the 1950s but it wasn’t until 2002 that the collection was extended with additional plantings. It now includes 17 different taxa. All cultivars in the collection have been sourced from specialist nurseries and collectors within the UK.
Sir Hardol Hillier Gardens director Wolfgang Bopp said: "Stand under one of these trees in autumn on a nice calm day and you’ll be wondering where the candy floss machine is."
Plant Heritage plant conservation officer Mercy Morris said: "Cercidiphyllum are truly beautiful trees, and the scent is really something unique in this country. The Sir Harold Hillier Gardens really are head and shoulders above the other large gardens by having a remarkable 13 Collections now; it would be good to see someone try to catch them up. It is an outstanding contribution to cultivated plant conservation."
The Sir Harold Hiller Gardens now has 13 National Plant Collections, 12,000 different plant taxa and attracts 160,000 visitors a year.