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X-ray of Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura)

X-ray of Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura)


Fine Art print of X-ray Photograph of Cercidiphyllum japonicum (Katsura), originally made by Tor G. Nitzelius, a world well-known dendrologist, gardener and prefect at Gothenburg's botanical garden in collaboration with Lennart Nilsson, among others. Printed on a matte 210 gram Hahnemühle photopaper with archival resistant pigmented ink.


Katsura grows where you can hear rippling water.


This lovely tree responds to the name katsura (good to know: they say talking to plants helps them thrive). It is a medium-sized tree native to Japan and its neighbors, with a broad, rounded crown; thin, brown crackling bark; and narrow, pointy reddish shoots. Its round leaves are paired in twos, in a shade of red that transitions into yellowish green to blue-green. The katsura is happiest in rich, healthy soil, preferably in a sheltered setting. It is said that in this tree’s natural habitat, you can always hear the rippling of water.


The katsura is lovely to behold throughout the year, but its autumnal colors draw the most attention in luminous shades ranging from beautiful yellow to carmine and violet. It also has a fantastic fragrance, reminiscent of gingerbread, freshly baked bread and spun sugar. But the fragrance is not from the leaves; rather, it is emitted when the leaves fall. That is why you can detect the scent when standing near a katsura, but not by sniffing its leaves.


In 1958, Tor G. Nitzelius wrote that the katsura was “perhaps the most valuable contribution to date to our parks from East-Asian deciduous forests.” One especially popular variety is called the “Gothenburg E plant,” which likely stems from the material collected by Nitzelius.

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