Hamamelidaceae (witch hazel family) Parrotia

Parrotia persica Persian parrotia


A small deciduous tree noted for yellow leaf color in fall, changing to crimson. The ovate, almost sessile, paper-thin leaves, 4 inches long and a little less in width, have a crenulated edge that sometimes culminates in a pointed tip. The clustered flowers are noted for red anthers. The tree has nothing to do with parrots; it is named for naturalist J. J. von Parrot, who is noted as the first person recorded (1829) to have climbed 14,000-foot Mount Ararat (since Noah landed there!).

A row of four about 15 feet tall grows along the north side of Herrin Hall. A multitrunk specimen is at 413 Ferne Avenue, Palo Alto, to the left of the driveway.

Name derivation: Parrotia – For W. Parrot (1792–1841), German naturalist; persica – of Iran.

About this Entry: The main text of this entry is from the book Trees of Stanford and Environs, by Ronald Bracewell, published 2005.