Plants with decent evergreen foliage are always useful, particularly in winter when the bulk of the garden is resting, and this Japanese silver tree is one of the best. Its sizable, elliptical leaves are attractively patterned with prominent veins, and the undersides are silver with a golden lustre. In spring, new leaves, with the appearance and feel of golden silk, unfurl from sharppointed golden buds. The gold coating fades as the leaves mature turning olive green. Best planted in a sheltered position protected from north easterlies. Height 8m. Origin China, Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Conditions Sheltered position and shade tolerant; any good garden soil. Hardiness RHS H5, USDA 8a-11. Season Year-round.