Volume 2, Issue 8
March 15, 2011
Conifers at Lockerly, Part 1
Table of Contents
Cryptomeria japonica, otherwise known
as a Japanese cedar, is a tall, pyramidal evergreen
conifer with blue-green foliage and a straight trunk New Large Trees
with attractive bark. It is native to Japan, as its name pg. 2
implies, where it is known fondly as ‘Sugi’. Sugi is
the national tree of Japan, commonly planted around What’s Flowering?
temples and shrines, where many have survived to pg. 2
great age. It is a fast-growing tree in youth and can
grow up to 25 feet tall in just 10 years. Because of
this rapidly-growing habit, Japanese cedar is especially useful for screens and
windbreaks. In the colder months, the foliage can turn a bronze shade, especially
if exposed to wind and sun. Its foliage is needle-like, dark green, and soft to the
touch. They grow best in a partially shaded location with rich, well-drained soil.
Cryptomeria japonica is a heat-tolerant conifer and has been grown in Southern
landscapes for many years. It is one of the best performers in Lockerly’s Conifer
Reference Garden, and we have a number of cultivars in our collection.
Like many plants of Japanese origin, there are many
cultivars of this species. There are as many as 200
Cryptomeria cultivars in existence, and there are some
interesting dwarf forms available. Some of our favorite
‘Benjamin Franklin’ – A vigorous, large-growing selection that
retains its green color in winter.
‘Black Dragon’ – A compact, extremely dark green form that
may reach 6 to 8 feet at maturity.
‘Elegans Nana’ – A compact globe of soft blue-green foliage that turns a purplish shade in winter and grows 3 to 4
‘Globosa Nana’ – This is a ball-shaped green mound that grows slowly to a height of about four or five feet. We have
a huge specimen of this cultivar at Lockerly.
‘Tansu’ – A dwarf variety that may grow 2 inches a year to a mature height of two feet. Very shade tolerant.
‘Yoshino’ – Perhaps the most popular cultivar available.
Classic pyramidal habit with handsome blue-green
foliage. Grows to about 30 feet tall.
These are just a few of the many Cryptomeria
cultivars represented in our conifer collection, and we
are adding new ones each year. All of them make good
evergreen choices for Southern landscapes. Come by
and see these and other conifers in our newly restored
Conifer Reference Garden.
New Large Trees
Lockerly has recently acquired six new large trees from Bold Springs
Nursery in Hawkinsville, Georgia. These trees are improved introductions that
are especially well adapted to Southern climates. Acer saccharum ‘Harvest
Moon’ is a Sugar Maple cultivar that was discovered flourishing in Sandersville,
far south of its typical range. This selection exhibits amazing heat tolerance and
has the same great fall color that is seen in sugar maples in New England.
xCupressus leylandii ‘Irish Mint’ sports mint green foliage and is also heat
tolerant. This Leyland cypress cultivar is reported to have a superior root
system and can tolerate poor soils. It grows very rapidly (36 in. per year) and
holds its green color year-round. Juniperus virginiana ‘High Shoals’ is an Eastern red cedar with bright green foliage that does not bronze in winter. It was
selected from a specimen growing in Oconee County, GA. Platanus x
acerifolium ‘Yarwood’, or Yarwood Planetree, is known to be extremely disease
resistant and offers beautiful exfoliating bark of bright green and white. We also
planted Quercus phellos ‘Upperton’, a new cultivar of Willow Oak. This tree grows well in hot, humid climates
and has a dense, upright crown. It was selected from a specimen growing in a parking lot island in Athens, GA,
and it is tolerant of heat, humidity, and urban conditions. Lastly, we planted Taxodium distichum ‘Autumn Gold’.
The Autumn Gold Baldcypress is adaptable to either dry or wet soils and was chosen as a superior cultivar
due to its strong central leader and dense branching. Each of these new trees will be dedicated in April as a
commemorative to honor a former Lockerly trustee.
What’s Flowering at Lockerly?
Camellia japonica (Japanese Camellia)
Acer rubrum (Red Maple)
Viola x wittrockiana (Pansy)
Narcissus, assorted (Daffodil)
Ipheion uniflorum (Starflower)
Magnolia x 'Ann' (Hybrid Magnolia)
Magnolia x 'Jane' (Hybrid Magnolia)
Verbena 'Homestead Purple'
Veronica 'Georgia Blue' (Creeping Veronica)
Leucojum aestivum (Spring Snowflake)
Helleborus orientalis (Lenten Rose)
Clematis armandii (Evergreen Clematis)
Gelsemium sempervirens (Carolina jessamine)
Jasminum mesnyi (Primrose Jasmine)
Viburnum x burkwoodii (Burkwood Viburnum)
Berberis julianae (Barberry)
Rhododendron chapmanii (Chapman's Rhododendron)
Viburnum obovatum 'Reifler's Dwarf' (Reifler's Dwarf
Prunus x yedoensis (Yoshino Cherry)
Dodecatheon media (Shooting Star)
Vinca major (Large Periwinkle)
Phlox subulata (Creeping Phlox)
Epimedium x versicolor ‘Sulphureum’ (Yellow
Ajuga reptans (Bugleweed)
Verbena canadensis ‘Oconee’
Viburnum tinus (Laurustinus)
Chaenomeles speciosa (Flowering Quince)