Xanthoceras sorbifolium is a shrub or small tree originating in China; it reaches 5-6 meters in height, with an average rapid growth.
The habit is erect, the stem is short and has a wide rounded crown, consisting of long, slightly branched, arched branches; the large leaves are pinnate, composed of numerous leaflets with serrated edges, light green.
In late spring it produces long arcuate racemes made up of numerous flowers with five petals, of white color, suffused with rose in the central part of the calyx, perfumed; in summer the flowers are followed by small, rounded, edible fruits.
This shrub has a spectacular flowering, the entire crown is filled with innumerable white flowers; the leaves in autumn, before falling, tend to be colored with golden tones. After flowering it is good to remove the withered racemes and shorten excessively long branches.
Xanthoceras sorbifolium is better exposed in a sunny position or in partial shade. These shrubs do not fear the cold, but it is always good to remember to repair very young specimens from the cold winter wind. When it is in the dormant phase, in winter, it can easily withstand temperatures between -10 ° C and - 15 ° C. Of course this plant should be grown outdoors, but if very cold temperatures are expected it should be protected by placing leaves, straw or mulch on the surrounding ground to repair the stem and the roots from too intense cold.
For the first few years after planting it is good to remember to water the plants, from March to October, during particularly long periods of drought; specimens of at least 4-5 years are generally satisfied with the rains, even if they like sporadic watering during the hot months of July and August.
When watering, it is good to wait until the soil is dry before repeating the operation, to avoid possible harmful stagnation. If the plants are planted in pots, they will need more frequent watering than the ones planted in the ground.
In spring, bury at the base of Xanthoceras sorbifolium a mature organic fertilizer, or a slow release granular fertilizer, specific for flowering plants.
Generally the Xanthoceras sorbifolium love fertile, rich and very well drained soils, possibly with not too high pH. To prepare an ideal soil, you can mix good composting soil with peat and a small piece of pumice stone with an irregular grain size to allow perfect drainage, avoiding the formation of water stagnation that would damage the plant.
The multiplication of this tree generally takes place by seed, which is readily available, as the plant produces many fruits; in spring it is also possible to practice cuttings, using semi-woody branches, to be planted to obtain new seedlings.
Xanthoceras sorbifolium: Pests and diseases
This plant is quite resistant to diseases; but it often happens that the flower buds are hit by aphids. An insecticide treatment is often recommended and one with fungicidal action to protect the flowering from the attack of pests.