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Hybrid Tulip Tree

Liriodendron x sinoamericanum 'Chapel Hill'

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Hybrid Tulip
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This tree is a rare hybrid between the American and Chinese Tulip Trees: Liriodendron tulipifera which is native to eastern North America and Liriodendron chinense, from China and Vietnam. 

A hybrid of these two species was first developed in 1963, by Professor Y. Pietzung of the Nanjing Botanical Garden in China.

It was however, Clifford R. Parks of the University of North Carolina who reproduced this successful hybridisation and it’s from his plants that the commercially available tree was derived. He named the variety ‘Chapel Hill’ after the location of the University's campus, around which both the North Carolina Botanic Garden and the Coker Arboretum are located.

The tulip tree bears it’s name due to the distinctive tulip shaped flowers it produces, although it can take up to 10 years for the large flowers to appear.  These flowers inherit the bright yellow and orange of the American parent, whilst the large spade-like leaves show the attractive reddish flush from the Chinese species.

This is a vigorous tree with a conical habit, but as a new hybrid, it is too soon to say to what size this tree will eventually grow. The parent species often reach over 50 metres (164 ft) in height. 

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All photography copyright © Andrea Jones

QR interpretation service © Garden Exposures 

All photography copyright © Andrea Jones

QR interpretation service © Garden Exposures