A Plantsman’s Favorite Dwarf Conifers

By: Earl Nickel
Earl-Nickel
http://www.normsnursery.blogspot.com

EARL NICKEL is an Oakland-based horticulturist, writer, and photographer. He writes a weekly column for the San Francisco Chronicle profiling…

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A variety of color and texture in the conifer garden at The Oregon Garden in Silverton.  Photo: Janice LeCocq

A variety of color and texture in the conifer garden at The Oregon Garden in Silverton. Photo: Janice LeCocq

Most dwarf conifers available in nurseries are from eight classic conifer groups. And as it turns out, the two that may be the least familiar to the uninitiated, Chamaecyparis and Cryptomeria, provide the greatest number of selections for building a dwarf conifer bed.


 

Abies koreana – Korean fir

Abies balsamea ‘Nana’ – Dwarf balsam fir

Cedrus deodara ‘Feeling Blue’ – Deodar cedar

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana – Lawson false cypress

                  ‘Barry’s Silver’

                  ‘Blue Surprise’

                  ‘Golden Surprise’

                  ‘Rimpelaar’

                  ‘Treasure Island’

Chamaecyparis obtusa – Hinoki cypress

                  ‘Gold Drop’

                  ‘Nana Lutea’

                  ‘Spiralis’

Chamaecyparis pisifera – Sawara cypress

                  ‘Curly Tops’

                  ‘Gold Mop’

                  ‘Snow’

                  ‘True Blue’

Cryptomeria japonica – Japanese cedar

                  ‘Elegans Compacta’

                  ‘Knaptonensis’

                  ‘Mushroom’

                  ‘Nana’

                  ‘Spiraliter Falcata’

                  ‘Vilmoriniana’

Juniperus communis – Common juniper (dwarf varieties)

Juniperus horizontalis – Creeping juniper

Juniperus procumbens ‘Nana’ – Bonin Island juniper

Juniperus squamata – Singleseed juniper

                  ‘Blue Star’

                  ‘Floriant’

Picea abies – Norway spruce

                  ‘Little Gem’

                  ‘Pendula’

Picea glauca ‘Conica’ – Dwarf Alberta spruce

Pinus contorta ‘Spaan’s Dwarf’ – Beach pine

Pinus mugo ‘Pumilio’ ­– Mugo pine

Pinus sylvestris ‘Gold Coin’ – Scot’s pine