Plant of the Day – Taxodium distichum ‘Peve Minaret’

The JCRA's 'Peve Minaret' is now about 20' tall.

The JCRA’s ‘Peve Minaret’ is now about 20′ tall.

Our native baldcypress, Taxodium distichum, is one of our favorite plants here at the JC Raulston Arboretum but with our limited acreage there is a limit to the number of selections we can grow.  We were therefore extremely excited to hear about a dwarf selection from Piet Vergelt Nursery in the Netherlands back in the early 2000’s.  We acquired a 10 inch tall plant of our own in 2002 and planted it the following fall near the path to our visitor center on a well-drained slope.  Despite baldcypress’ natural affinity for damp spots, our plant has flourished and is now about 20 feet tall.  Obviously it has not read any of the descriptions that still say it only grows to 6 feet tall in 10 years.  At any rate, it is certainly much smaller than the species with a delightfully distinct texture and habit.  The feathery, mint-green branchlets are held on somewhat upright branches in dense tufts.  In fall these branchlets turn brilliant orange-russet and eventually drop revealing the densely branched form of this selection.  It can be grown in dry soils once established but prefers rich, moist spots and can even be grown in a container in water that just covers the pot.

Our plant 2 years after planting in 2005.

Our plant 2 years after planting in 2005.

Follow me at @jcramark because life is too short for boring plants.

Fall color on this deciduous conifer can be spectacular.

Fall color on this deciduous conifer can be spectacular.

The foliage is tufted mostly towards the ends of the branches.

The foliage is tufted mostly towards the ends of the branches.

Check out all the happenings at http://www.ncsu.edu/jcraulstonarboretum

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