The Blue Redwoods and Hybrids

The Blue Redwoods and Hybrids


"Popular" is the best way to describe the Redwoods. Back in the 60's, there was great (unfounded) fear that the redwoods were all going to disappear... Political agendas and certain realities aside, the redwoods, namely our native Coastal Redwood and Giant Sequoia, are beautiful tree species worth preserving and cherishing. The Coast Red is propagated and planted in vast numbers not only along the west coast, but also in Australia and New Zealand, parts of Africa, and in spots throughout the Mediterrain regions. Survival of this species is very secure as its commercial importance is greatly prized. To a lessor extent, the Giant Sequoia has more of an ornamental importance, versus commercial value, but these too are highly popular and widely planted.

Then as the Dawn Redwood was introduced into the United States, the almost extinct Chinese species, also enjoys a very wide and popular extent here and in many other parts of the world.

What is really very interesting and exciting to a great many people, are the increasing number of cultivars or hybrids that have hit the marketplace. We too have started the propagation of many of these, and as time goes on, we hope to produce many of these ourselves. For the present, we are out-sourcing them, so they are limited in availability, and they tend to be spendy...

These cultivars are great specimens, either potted or made into bonsai, or planted in the landscape design as a focual point. They are All slower growing than the true-species, especially the Giant Sequoia hybrids.

The Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervires) cultivars are increasingly popular, and presently there are at least 13 that we know of... There are likely more, but those we know about are the -

The Blue Coast Redwoods -

"Aptos Blue" - a dark-green to Blue color;
"Filoli Blue" - a very Blue color that can vary from dark-green to blue-gray;
"Winter Blue" - a very Blue type like the Filoli and Henderson;
"Henderson's Blue" - also a Blue type like the Winter Blue and Filoli; "Steel Blue" - a newer cultivar with a gray-blue color.

Some of the Other Cultivars include...

"Simpson's Silver" - a dark-green foliage, but has silvery hues that can be very pronounced;
"Albo-spicata" - a dark green coloration, and the new growth comes out creamy-white. Short needles on this one;
"Soquel" - sometimes called "Saratoga", this small-compact dark green is best known for its delicate fine textured foliage;
"Los Altos" - a dark-green to bluish type, hefty form and almost horizontal branching;
"Mt. Loma Prieta Spike" - a dark-green to blue type, hefty form and almost horizontal branching;
"Swarthmore Hardy" - a green-type, but more cold-tolerant than the true species. Known to tolerate single-digit winter temperatures. Has been planted as far north as southeastern Pennsylvannia (as in Swarthmore College where it was developed)!
"Kelly's Prostrate" - a dark-green type that hugs the ground like a ground-cover. Very unlike a Redwood!
"Cantab Prostrate" - a dark-green to bluish form that is a ground-cover. Also very unlike a Redwood!

The Giant Sequoia (Sequoia giganteum) hybrids are also increasingly popular, and it seems that more types are being produced. Some of them include -

For the Giant Sequoia, there are a handful of Blue cultivars out there, which include -

"Glaucum" - Bluish-gray foliage;
"Blauer Eichzwerg" - dark green to blue-gray;
"Exceptionally Blue" - a blue-gray;
"Powder Blue" - blue to gray color;
"Hazel Smith" - varies from dark green to blue-gray;
"Lacy Blue" - a bluish hue;

Some of the other hybrids are -

"Pendulum" - A pendant or weeping form with twisted branching;
"Albo-spicata" - dark green coloration, and the new growth comes out creamy-white;
"Barabit's Requiem";
"Bultnick Yellow" - a yellow color;
"Conrad Appel";
"Frence Beauty" - the new growth comes out creamy-white;
"Greenpeace";
"Luzi";
"Phillip Curtis";
"Van Martin"

As time goes on, undoubtedly there will be many more hybrids entering the marketplace. The Dawn Redwoods (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) also have a number of hybrids.

For these, it would be best to pot them, either as bonsai, or in large containers. They are spendy, but a treasure! As time goes on, we will produce some of these ourselves... we will keep you posted.


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