Vitis coignetiae is a magnificent large vine from Japan and Korea which develops a superb range of autumn colours. Bodnant, Wales.

Vitis coignetiae. The defunct Botanic Garden at Moorbank, Newcastle.

Vitis coignetiae. Close-up of leaves. Kew, UK.

Vitis 'pulchra'. A rather mysterious plant which may be a hybrid of V. coignetiae. Kew, UK.

Vitis vinifera 'Purpurea' the Teinturier Grape. This popular cultivar is usually grown for decorative purposes. Teinturier means 'dyer' and it may have been developed so that the pigments from the fruits could be used in dyeing. The foliage is an attractive colour all year round, but often develops very good red colours in autumn.

Xanthorhiza simplicissima. This remarkable member of the Ranuunculaceae from the eastern USA has black flowers and bright yellow roots and sap. In a woodsy acidic soil it can be extremely invasive and it covers a lot of ground, but develops extraordinary autumn colours and is well-worth growing if you have room. Its berries are only produced if you have two clones. Author's garden, Hexham.

Xanthorhiza simplicissima, a little later in the year. Author's garden.

Zelkovas are interesting, ancient relatives of elms, and make generally slow-growing trees of considerable character which will withstand limy soils, drought, and elm disease. Z. abeliacea is endemic to Crete where it is found on steep limestone rocks in the mountains. A good place to see it is on the track from the top of the Samaria gorge up to the Katafyglion. It is rare in cultivation. Kew, UK.

Zelkova carpinifolia from the Caucasus and Iran is the species most often seen in cultivation. Kew, UK.

Zelkova schneideriana is one of two species from eastern Asia (China). It is rare in cultivation. Kew, UK.

Zelkova schneideriana has fascinating, red-mottled bark which becomes more obvious as the leaves fall. Kew, UK.

Zelkova serrata from Japan and Korea is the easternmost species and is occasionally met with in collections where it forms a fine tree with a spreading habit. Kew, UK.

Having reached the end of the alphabet, and almost all of my allocation of pictures, this is my final contribution to this website for the time being. As I look out of the window into my small garden, it is still ablaze with autumn colour, but the winter is setting in and I don't intend to add to the website this autumn. I may well do so towards the end of 2015: watch this space! In the meantime, thank you for visiting this site, I hope you have enjoyed looking at it, and please publicise it if you think it worthwhile. Please note that the name seems to clash with many fashion sites and to google it you should put in Thank you.


John Richards