Other Names: Isu Tree, Winter Hazel, Witch Hazel
Distylium (Winter-hazel) is a genus of about 18 species of evergreen shrubs and trees in the witch hazel family Hamamelidaceae, native to eastern and southeastern Asia.
An attractive and rare evergreen plant with dark green glossy leaves all year round; in spring, lovely red flowers emerge along the older branches; very elegant when massed together or as an accent shrub.
Evergreen Witch Hazel is clothed in stunning panicles of red spider-like flowers along the branches from late winter to mid spring, which emerge from distinctive creamy white flower buds. It has attractive dark green foliage which emerges green in spring. The glossy oval leaves are ornamentally significant but remain dark green through the winter. The fruit is not ornamentally significant. The bark is not particularly outstanding.
Evergreen Witch Hazel is a dense multi-stemmed evergreen shrub with a stunning habit of growth which features almost oriental horizontally-tiered branches. Its average texture blends into the landscape, but can be balanced by one or two finer or coarser trees or shrubs for an effective composition.
This is a relatively low maintenance shrub, and usually looks its best without pruning, although it will tolerate pruning. It has no significant negative characteristics.
Evergreen Witch Hazel will grow to be about 10 feet tall at maturity, with a spread of 10 feet. It tends to fill out right to the ground and therefore doesn't necessarily require facer plants in front, and is suitable for planting under power lines. It grows at a slow rate, and under ideal conditions can be expected to live for 50 years or more.
This shrub does best in full sun to partial shade. It does best in average to evenly moist conditions, but will not tolerate standing water. It is not particular as to soil pH, but grows best in rich soils. It is somewhat tolerant of urban pollution.
Shrubs or trees; young branches stellately lepidote, older growth drying dark brown, glabrous; buds lepidote. Petiole 5–10 mm, sparsely stellately lepidote; leaf blade elliptic or obovate-elliptic, 3–7 × 1.5–3.5 cm, abaxially glabrescent, adaxially drying green, shiny, base broadly cuneate, margin entire, apex obtuse or subacute; lateral veins 5 or 6 on each side, reticulate veins indistinct on both surfaces. Inflorescences 1.8–2 cm; peduncle glabrous. Floral bracts lanceolate, 2–3 mm. Stamen filaments 1.5–2 mm; anthers red, 2.5–3.5 mm. Ovary stellately tomentose; styles 6–7 mm. Fruiting pedicels less than 2 mm. Capsules 1–1.3 cm, stellately pubescent with brown hairs, apex acute. Seeds ovoid, 4–5 mm. Fl. Apr–Jun, fr. Jun–Aug.
Forests; 1000--1300 m. Fujian, Hainan, Taiwan, Zhejiang [Japan (Ryukyu Islands), Korea].