Even Sciadopitys has cultivars
Yesterday while sorting through the mail for the Scott Arboretum library, I came across the Conifer Quarterly from the American Conifer Society. I was intrigued to find on the cover of the magazine a photograph of a cultivar of Sciadopitys verticillata.
I have been familiar with this living fossil also known as Japanese umbrella-pine because it is coveted by many collector gardeners. It has attractive whorls of needles and is very slow growing. As result of this slow growth, it is found rarely in the trade and is highly valued. Naively, I assumed because of its slow growth no cultivars had been identified for this plant.
As I discovered on the cover of the Conifer Quarterly and among the collections at the Scott Arboretum there are numerous cultivars. We currently are trialing ‘Foxtail’, ‘Joe Kozey’, and ‘Winter Green’ among our collections. The one showing the best promise to date is ‘Winter Green’ found in the Cosby Courtyard.
‘Winter Green’ was selected as a narrow conical small tree with blue-green needle color. Our curator, Andrew Bunting, still prefers the straight species and recommends visiting our best specimen above Sharples Dinning Hall.
Stop by the Scott Arboretum library and check out the latest issue of the Conifer Quarterly to learn more about Sciadopitys and its cultivars. Check out the back cover for an image the chartreuse selection S. verticillata ‘Yellow Dream’.