Pic of the Day – Styrax japonicus (Yamaguchi dwarf)

This dwarf selection makes a dense ball.

This dwarf selection makes a dense ball.

We love the genus Styrax here at the JC Raulston Arboretum and a recent study by Matt Lobdell at the University of Delaware showed the the JCRA had more species than any other garden in the US (19 when he performed his research).  Since that time we’ve added a few and now have 31 total taxa of Styrax including a couple of as yet unidentified species from Vietnam and quite a few selections of Styrax japonicus.  One that we are extremely excited about is a dwarf form from the acclaimed Japanese plant collector Yamaguchi-san that he gave me a few years ago.  It makes a tight ball of deep green foliage and although we have not yet seen it flower, Mr. Yamaguchi tells me it flowers well with typical white flowers that are a bit smaller than the species.  We hope to be able to propagate it next year and begin distributing Styrax japonicus (Yamaguchi dwarf) to nurserymen and our members in the near future.  If you think of a great name for this plant, let me know – some names rattling around in my head include ‘Yamaguchi Cutie’, ‘Emerald Snow Globe’, or if we are going for the obscure ‘Emerald Tope’ (to play on J.C.’s selection ‘Emerald Pagoda’, a tope is a dome shaped monument to house Buddhist relics but it is also a small gray-skinned shark – think of the gray fruits – and also means to drink to excess, kanpai!).

Yamaguchi-san next toan ancient Cryptomeria on my 2011 visit to Japan.

Yamaguchi-san next toan ancient Cryptomeria on my 2011 visit to Japan.

Detail from Mathew Lobdell's poster on Styrax.

Detail from Mathew Lobdell’s poster on Styrax.

 

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2 thoughts on “Pic of the Day – Styrax japonicus (Yamaguchi dwarf)

    1. Mark Weathington Post author

      Any good garden center in central NC should be able to get you a weeping Styrax. I know a couple of wholesale nurseries are growing ‘Fragrant Fountain’ in the state and should be supplying the local garden centers. Ask a good independent garden center to try to find one for you and they should be able to get it in the fall or possibly next spring.

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