Common name: Ligiri tree, igiri tree (Japanese names), Chinese wonder tree
Idesia polycarpa is a deciduous tree, 12-15m in height, native to Asia. It is the only species in the genus. It is dioecious, and if both sexes are near each other, it will produce yellow flowers followed by edible pea-sized dark red fruits. We have 4 trees. It takes about 20 years to find out the sex of the tree.
The leaves are heart-shaped, similar to a catalpa but thicker, and there is little fall colour. The bark is grey and rough. It was first discovered in Japan 1862-63 by Richard Oldham, a collector from Kew, but later reintroduced by E. H. Wilson and George Forrest.
The genus name honours E. I. Ides, an 18th century Dutch explorer and mapmaker of China and Russia. The species name means 'many fruits.'
Synonym: Polycarpa maximowiczii.
Photo looking up into the tree by Hughie Jones.
Photo with flowers by Krzysztof Ziarnek, Kenraiz / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)
Photo of berries by By Daderot - Own work, CC0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37425405