Betula utilis, the Himalayan Birch is widespread from west Nepal to China, and is variable through its range. It is most often grown for its bole, the best known types originating from the western end of its range and known as 'Jacquemontii'. These have smooth site boles. All forms have quite good yellow autumn colour, but the leaves do not hang for long. Kew, UK.

Betula utilis 'Jacquemontii' bole. Authors garden, UK.

Carpinus betulus, the Hornbeam, is native to SE England, and much of Europe. Most forms colour well, and hold their yellow autumn leaves for some time. Knightshayes, Devon.

Carpinus betulus. Wallington, Northumberland, UK.

Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata' bole. Thorpe Perrow, Yorks. There are compact ('Globulus') and narrow ('Fastigiata' forms of hornbeam and all make excellent garden plants. The bole of 'Fastigiata' is particularly good.

Carya cordiformis. Bitternut. E North America. There are about 17 species of hickory which are trees related to walnuts, and some of which have edible seeds. All have rather long compound leaves which usually colour yellow in autumn.

Carya glabra. Kew, UK. The pignut is widespread in north America, growing from Ontario south to Alabama. The leaves can reach 20 cm in length but are not long for the genus. The leaflets are usually in threes.

Carya glabra. Foliage. Kew, UK.

Carya ovata. Shagbark Hickory. Kew, UK. Another native of eastern America, from Quebec to Texas, this has one of the largest leaves in the genus, the compound leaves reaching 65 cm in length. Leaflets are pinnate, and usually fine in number.

Carya ovata, showing pinnate foliage. Kew, UK.

Carya tomentosa. Mockernut. Kew, UK. Another species with very large leaves, to 50 cm, usually with seven leaflets, and the leaflets more rounded than in C. ovata. Ontario to Texas. Although rare in British collections, probably the best species for autumn colour.

Castanea sativa, the Sweet Chestnut, is a native of western Eurasia, but was probably introduced into south-east England where it can now dominate woods in Kent and Essex, forming a characteristic woodland with hornbeam. It is not renowned for its autumn colour, but this variegated form, 'Aureomarginata' makes a good foliage contrast as leaves colour. Thorpe Perrow, Yorks. Note that one branch in this picture has reverted, as often happens in L2 chloroplast chimaeras.

Cercidophyllum japonicum, the Katsura, is a well-loved and popular tree for autumn colour, partly because the senescent leaves smell of burnt toffee, particularly on a warm autumn day. This form, Heronswood Globe, originated near Seattle, but is photographed here at Holker Hall, Cumbria, UK. The species originates from Japan. It can vary in colour a good deal when grown from seed.

Cercidophyllum japonicum. A yellow leaved form from Howick.

This photograph of Cercidophyllum japonicum from Belsay, Northumberland, encapsulates the charm of this delightful small tree.

Cercis canadensis, the American redbud, is a hardy relative of the Eurasian Judas Tree, C. siliquastrum. Both are legumes, as is evidenced by the long hanging pods when in fruit, and both flower abundantly on bare spring wood. The redbud is usually grown in UK gardens in a purple foliage variant known as 'Forest Pansy' which is an excellent subject when given plenty of shelter. It morphs from purple to deep red in autumn. Holker Hall, Cumbria, UK.

Chaenomeles japonica. Japanese Quince. Chaenomeles does not have interesting autumn foliage, and is grown principally for the attractive spring flowers which are borne on the bare twigs. However, when well-fruited, the 'quinces' can make an arresting sight in autumn. Moorbank Botanic Garden (now defunct), Newcastle, UK.

Cladastris kentukea, Kentucky Yellowwood. This is the correct name for the plant formerly known as C. lutea. It is another legume, producing drooping panicles of white and yellow flowers from a small to medium-sized tree. It is native to the south-eastern USA, unlike the other species in the genus which are Asian. Most colour well in autumn with yellow foliage. Holker Hall, Cumbria, UK.

Cladrastis sinensis, the Chinese Yellowwood is another medium-sized tree with attractive pinkish panicles of flowers in spring. Hard to propagate it is unfortunately rare in collections, but colours well in autumn. Kew, UK.

Cornus alba 'Sibirica'. Cornaceae. One of the staples for the winter garden, the red stems of this fine dogwood look good all year, but the leaves of the best forms (and it is very variable) colour a brilliant red in autumn too. Needs annual stooling to maintain the best colour. Bodnant, Wales.

Cornus alba, C. sanguinea and other dogwoods, Thorpe Perrow. A fine illustration as to how a variety of stooled dogwoods can make a superb effect in the autumn garden.

A rather tender Sinohimalayan species, Cornus capitata is evergreen, so does not colour, but regularly produces spectacular, strawberry-like fruits in autumn. Holker Hall, Cumbria, UK.

Cornus controversa is a superb small tree from Japan and China which is perhaps best known for its layered and variegated forms. However the species can be a spectacular autumn subject with good red foliage.

The renowned cultivar Cornus controversa 'Variegata' does not colour well in autumn, but provides a spectacular contrast to other autumn coloured trees in a sheltered garden or park. Thorpe Perrow, Yorks.

For a continuation of the genus Cornus, please turn to Autumn Colour 5.