In spring, the new leaves unfurl bright green with wide, irregular white margins. Very showy, they keep this variegation right through summer and fall, though the colors change!
By late spring, the blooms are beginning to open. Very large and white, they sport big reddish-pink spots and blotches, giving them an all-over pink cast from a distance Akatsuki is super-floriferous, so expect blooms everywhere on this vase-shaped little tree!
The flowers continue into early summer, and as the weather warms up, the white edges of the foliage begin to sport washes of pink, as if they're getting a bit of a sunburn! The color remains until fall, when it turns a rich shade of purple, creating amazing combinations on each leaf: mauve and violet, rose and lavender, plum and midnight-purple! Stunning!
Akatsuki reaches only 8 to 10 feet high and wide after a decade's growth. It thrives in full sun in the north, partial shade farther south and west, and can tolerate quite a bit of shade without losing vigor or bloom strength. Very content in heavy clay soil and tolerant of heat, humidity, and dry conditions, it is an especially easy tree to love. And no garden presence is more beautiful from spring through fall!
This tree was introduced by Japanese plantsman Akiri Shibamichi, and is a sport of the popular 'Satomi.' Welcome it into the garden this season, and enjoy it for decades to come! Zones 5-8.