Conifer trees and plants are available in a range of colours, shapes and sizes. Sequoia conifers are the largest living thing on the planet. Mature trees reach for the skies but rockery or horizontalis varieties are ground hugging by comparison.
What is a Conifer
- A conifer is a tree that produces seed but has no true flowers.
- Many conifers have seeds borne on scales that clump together to form cones which are woody when ripe.
- Junipers and Yews are conifers without cones, using small berries for seed capsules.
- The foliage is usually narrow and sharp-pointed or small and scale-like.
- Most conifers are evergreen though Larches loose there their needles annually
- The Pine family includes several popular species of conifer including, Firs (Abies), Spruce (Picea abies), Larch (Larix), and Cedars (Cedrus).
- The big trees like the giant redwood sequoia are from the Taxiadacea family.
- Monkey Puzzle trees have very large cones.
- Cypress family includes the Chamaecyparis, Juniperus, Thuja and Cupressus families most often found in gardens.
There are a range of different greens, blues, gold’s, greys and even bronzes. Have a look around your local garden centre. Five varieties to look out for are:
- Picea pungens ‘Hoopsii’
- Thuja occidentalis ‘Rheingold’
- Cryptomeria japonica ‘Elegans’
- Juniperus squamata ‘Holger’
- Pinus mugo ‘Ophir’
Low Growing Conifers
- Ground covering Juniperus squamata ‘Blue Carpet’, Juniperus x media ‘Carbery Gold’, Juniperus communis ‘Green Carpet’.
- Three feet high or lower Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Minima Aurea’, Chamaecyparis lawsoniana ‘Gnome’, Picea abies ‘Little Gem’
- Thuja occidentalis ‘Yellow Ribbon’
- Chamaecyparis pisifera ‘Sungold’
- Cupressocyparis ‘Leylandii’Â for quick hedging. Varieties includeÂ CastlewellanÂ yellow or Robinson’s Goldlemon yellow.
Plant selections taken with the help of Association of British Conifer Growers