Persian ironwood Parrotia persica red flowers with caps of snow - Stock Image

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Like strawberries in chocolate cups...the small red flowers of Parrotia persica, whose common name is Persian ironwood. This is a photograph in winter (which is when the flowers appear, before the leaves), and the flowers are capped with snow.

This shrub / tree belongs to the witch hazel family, a family that includes many other winter- and early spring-blooming shrubs and trees. It is native to the northern Alborz mountains of Iran (formerly Persia), explaining the common name. The flowers have no petals - it is the bright red stamens that make up dense, spherical clusters, and appear along the bare branches in winter and early spring.

Some more photographs of Persian ironwood:

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More trees, sunshine and blue skies
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