The Dawes Arboretum occasionally selects, names and introduces new cultivars of plants. They are sometimes seedlings or mutations originating on Arboretum grounds or elsewhere. Below is a listing of those cultivars.
Pinus bungeana ‘Silver Ghost’
The Silver Ghost is valued for its exceptional silvery, gray-white bark that begins to develop at a young age. The original specimen of this evergreen conifer at The Arboretum was received in 1949 and is now 25-30’ tall with a distinctly upright habit. Needles are bright, shiny green, measuring 2-4” long. Cones are sparsely produced, 2-3” long, and yellow to brown when ripe. Best used as an accent where the bright bark will be best displayed in full sun and well-drained soil. Hardy in USDA Zone 5. Species native to China. Name registered by RHS February 1996. Published in ACS Journal, Vol. 21, No. 1 – Winter 2004 and in American Nurseryman – February 2005.
Tsuga canadensis ‘Little Granny’
Little Granny is a slow-growing, dwarf evergren that originated as a witches’ broom on a hemlock tree at Dorothy (granddaughter of the founders) and Dick Mann’s house in Granville, Ohio. Its ultimate size is unknown but it most likely will not exceed 3’ tall and wide. It is best planted in shade to part shade in rich, moist, well-drained soil. Hardy in USDA Zone 5. Species native to e. North America. Name published in ACS Journal, Vol. 24, No. 3 – Summer 2007.
Pinus virginiana ‘Bernie’
Bernie is a dwarf, irregularly mounded and spreading, somewhat tiered form of witches’ broom origin. It measures about 4’ tall and 8’ wide after eight years but its ultimate size is unknown. The plant was originally received from, and thus named after, the Bernheim Arboretum. Needles are grouped in bundles of two and have excellent green winter coloration not characteristic of this species in general. It would make an excellent specimen in a rock garden or conifer bed and should be sited in full sun in well-drained soil. Hardy in USDA Zone 5. Species native to e. United States. Name published in ACS Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1 – Winter 2005.
Ilex crenata ‘Mistress’
Mistress is a low-growing, dense, very hardy female plant originally from Lake County, Ohio. This evergreen shrub with small leaves and low spreading habit takes shearing very well. Large black fruits are produced if a suitable male pollinator is present. Best used in the border, foundation planting or as a low hedge. Grow in part shade in moist, well-drained, acid soil. Hardy in USDA Zone 5. Species native to n.e. Asia.
Ginkgo biloba ‘Jehoshaphat’
Jehoshaphat is a deciduous witches’-broom originating at Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum, Cincinnati, Ohio. Jehoshaphat grows slowly at first, displaying spur-like stems and globose habit but ultimately reaching around 9’ tall with typical fan-shaped leaves at ½ of its normal size. The name, Jehoshaphat, refers to a character in Par Lagerkvist’s book, The Dwarf. The plant displays beautiful yellow fall color. Does best with full sun exposure but adaptable to a variety of growing conditions including high pH, moisture and wind exposure. Hardy to USDA Zone 4. Species native to e. China. A broom originally named by Spring Grove Cemetery & Arboretum WB 86. Later registered with the ACS Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1 – Winter 2005.
Acer davidii ssp. grosseri ‘Dawes Emerald Tiger’
The Dawes Emerald Tiger is a small, deciduous, low-branching tree expected to grow 25’ high and wide. Although broadly conical when young, it will likely become rounded at maturity. The Dawes Emerald Tiger’s exceptionally well branched habit, a dense, conical crown, and beautiful green striped bark differentiates this plant from others of its kind. This tree has attractive medium green foliage in spring and summer and consistently good, clear, yellow fall color. The leaves are triangular in shape with shallow lobing near the midpoint of the leaf. Leaf apices are abruptly acuminate and margins shallowly and irregularly toothed. Leaves range in size from 2 3/8″ long by 3 1/2″ wide near the branch tips to 3/4″ by 1 1/4″ wide on older leaves. Flowers are typical of the species, opening yellow in pendulous clusters as leaves are expanding. Fruits ripen from green to tan brown in late September and October. Its ornamental green and white striped bark is a winter treat! Great used as an understory tree along a wood edge or specimen shade tree. Does best in shade or part sun in moist, well-drained acid soil. Hardy in USDA Zone 5. Species native to China. Name registered with Maple Society and published in the Maple Society Newsletter, Spring 2008 – Vol. 18/1.
Metasequoia glyptostroboides ‘Daweswood Tawny Fleece’
Daweswood Tawny Fleece dawn redwood
This relatively new cultivar of dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), registered through the American Conifer Society in 2017 under the name, Daweswood Tawny Fleece, has already received good reviews by many conifer enthusiasts. This spontaneous witches broom was observed by staff of the Dawes Arboretum in 2010 growing on one of our wild collected dawn redwood trees in the dawn redwood genetic conservation collection. The exact age of this witches’-broom is unknown but may be as old as 15-20 years and formed about 1.5 m. (5’) off the ground appearing as a dense cluster of stems roughly oval in shape. In 2017, we asked our membership to help us in naming this witches’-broom and we ultimately chose the name, “Daweswood Tawny Fleece”, because it describes the needles which take on a strong bronze-green color that persists through the growing season into fall. Additionally, the needles have a pleasing, feathery arrangement.
The precise mature height and spread of this cultivar is rather speculative at this point but we expect it will form a densely branched, rounded shrub to at least 3-4 m. (10-13’) high and wide. Dawn redwoods are relatively easy to cultivate in open sites and in soils that are neutral in pH or slightly acid, moist and rich in organic matter. Young specimens can sometimes be damaged or killed during severe winters but established specimens by contrast, have been well adapted to below zero temperatures. We have observed no disease issues on this plant but dawn redwoods in general can be subject to slight Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) damage in mid to late summer.