last updated 30/10/2014

Liquidambar styraciflua and its cultivars

The species itself of Liquidambar styraciflua is generally only available grown from seed. Thus you encounter the usual problem of variability. It might have good autumn colour or it might not! To remove this element of chance, we graft all our Liquidambars, so that we can maintain certain features.

Autumn colour is obviously important, but there are a surprisingly wide range of options to extend the interest further through the summer. Perhaps by foliage variegation, or more subtly by leaf shape and growth habit. Most of the green forms will make big trees, but the variegated derivatives at approx. 4m are suited to all but the tiniest garden.

We are increasingly growing these on their own roots (as opposed to grafting them) which is a very exciting breakthrough.

Hillier's advises it to be unsuitable on chalk, but one of my customers was telling me how well theirs was doing there... So give it a try and see!

The autumn colours have to be some of the best!

I have spectacular specimen sized plants of many cultivars, both pot grown and root-balled (all grown here in Somerset, not imported). If you are interested in buying something a little bigger, then please ask for details.

LIQUIDAMBAR acalycina 'Burgundy Flush'
This much less common species of Liquidambar deserves to be better known. The new growth is a rich reddish maroon before maturing to green for the summer. Autumn colours are a vibrant burgundy. Distinguishing it from L. styraciflua, the leaves have only 3 lobes. This superb American selection really makes the most of the rich burgundy coloured young growth. Larger leaves than most styraciflua cultivars enhance the dramatic effect of this medium sized deciduous tree.

NEW LIQUIDAMBAR formosana 'Afterglow'

LIQUIDAMBAR formosana 'Monticola'  
The Chinese form of the species, this is along the lines of the above, having larger leaves with fewer lobes than styraciflua. The red spring tints are repeated in the autumn when colours are good, as one would expect.

LIQUIDAMBAR orientalis 
A slower growing large shrub or small tree with smaller leaves which have more rounded lobes.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua 'Albomarginata Manon'
A gorgeous French form with creamy white margins. The purple autumn colour starts in the middle 
and develops outwards, maintaining the variegated effect. 3-4m

NEW LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua 'Andrew Hewson' 
Eventually a large tree of striking habit. Fantastic deep red-purple autumn colour. Fast growing when young so quickly gives a good effect. See (photo left) how fabulous the richly coloured foliage looks when covered in frost.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua 'Anja'   
A new selection, chosen for its excellent autumn colour.

LIQUIDAMBAR styraciflua 'Anneke'    
Another new selection, again for its autumn colour as one would expect from a Liquidambar.

Back to Previous Page

Next Page

Go Back to Top of Page