Friday, June 30, 2017

Sebright Gardens



Sebright Gardens

Sebright Gardens


Woodwardia unigemmata
Earlier in June my Grandfather and I travelled south into the heart of Oregon's Willamette Valley to visit Sebright Gardens. The company specializes in hundreds of Hosta, fern and Epimedium cultivars, and since they are retail I was able to purchase a couple of Woodwardia unigemmata, since my USDA Zone 8 plant perished in last winter's 3 degree F freeze. I've learned my lesson and now I'll grow it in a container so I can easily haul it inside when it gets cold. As you can see from the photo the reddish new fronds look delicious enough to eat. The “Jeweled chain fern” is “a colonizer of mountain forests from Japan, China, and the Himalayas to the Philippines,” according to Richie Steffen/Sue Olsen's The Plant Lover's Guide to Ferns.





















Styrax japonicus 'Evening Lights'


It is understandable why the first pioneers in Oregon migrated to the wonderful farmland soils of the Willamette Valley, and on our trip we passed numerous crops of wheat, fescue, onions and corn. I don't hate Hostas, but I certainly wouldn't drive an hour and a half to see them, but it turns out that Sebright's certifiable plant nerd, Thomas Johnson, has long been in the process (since 2000) of amassing a world-renowned plant collection...presented on beautifully-tended grounds. His plants range from conifers to evergreen and deciduous trees and shrubs, some fairly well-known but many oddballs that make you wonder: where did he get this, or where did he get that? Most of the plants looked super lush and vigorous, and at first I couldn't identify an Edgeworthia chrysantha – which I've grown forever – for its enormous leaves. Also, plants relatively new to horticulture, such as Styrax japonicus 'Evening Lights' can be seen at a surprisingly large size.

Let me report on some of the garden gems that impressed me:

Aesculus hippocastanum 'Wisselink'

Aesculus hippocastanum 'Wisselink'


The “variegated horse chestnut,” Aesculus hippocastanum 'Wisselink' was found by William Wisselink as a chance seedling near the Dutch village of Aalten. I've only seen it in two gardens: the Bellevue Botanic Garden near Seattle and today at Sebright. Surprisingly the beautiful cultivar is not listed in the Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs (2014), nor in Krussmann's Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees and Shrubs (1984), nor in Bean's Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the British Isles (1982), perhaps the three most stalwart of publications for the horticulturalist and gardener. My visit to Sebright was in mid June, with overcast skies and a warm drizzle, and the 'Wisselink' positively lit up the landscape. I would walk on coals to get a start of this.





















Cornus kousa 'Tri-splendor'


Another shiner was Cornus kousa 'Tri-Splendor', and my Grandfather and I both admired it from across the lawn. Gramps asked if I grew that cultivar and my answer was “Hell no, it's the competition,” meaning that it and another variegated kousa, 'Wolf Eyes', compete world-wide in sales with my 'Summer Fun'. My selection is better, though, with larger leaves...without the wavy margins that turn crisp-colored and roll upward in hot weather. Nurseries both large and small now produce thousands of 'Summer Fun', but it doesn't do me any good as the cultivar is patentless.

























Cornus kousa 'Summer Fun'


By the way the original 'Summer Fun' is at the nursery and I see it daily from out the office window. It originated as a mutant branch off of a Cornus kousa var. chinensis rootstock that was growing in GH14. I don't deserve any credit for its discovery because how could one miss it? I left a portion of the green on the seedling for a few years until I was able to successfully propagate the mutation, and then I boldly cut off all of the green. It is not surprising that I have grafted plants – on green kousa rootstock – that are now larger than the original 'Summer Fun'.

Daphniphyllum teijsmannii 'Variegated'


A very exciting thing about Sebright Gardens is that Thomas is expanding the plantings; and he has to since he keeps gathering more and more, and thankfully some are from me. In a new bed he showed me a large-size bush of Daphniphyllum teijsmannii 'Variegated'* that he bought from me the year before. I don't actually remember the sale – the sell – but I have one left at my nursery of the same age and size. The origin of this cultivar, for me, was the return of a favored Japanese intern named Atsuo Nakada who shoved plants in his shoes, socks and underwear for me when he visited about ten years ago. Then, he revisited a few years ago and he did the Japanese Aaaaahaaaa Jump-Back – like he was having a mock heart attack at the Daphniphyllum's size – which humored me greatly. Anyway Thomas now has one of the two original specimens in his new bed, and – as well as the money I made – I was pleased to see it thriving in a most estimable garden. Thomas and I each have one, then, and are they the first or largest in America?

*God, the nomenclature from Japan can be frustrating, because it must have a Japanese cultivar name – not 'Variegated'!

Firmiana simplex


A glossy-green sapling greeted me in one of the newly planted beds. It was Firmiana simplex, the “Chinese parasol tree,” and though I loved its large shiny leaves Thomas should know that it can grow up to (and perhaps exceed) 50' tall. Also it is known as an aggressive species and is considered by some to be a weed as the self-fertile seeds can spread rapidly where conditions are favorable. But who am I to spoil his fun? From a distance it could easily be mistaken for our native Acer macrophyllum, but instead it is a member of the Malvaceae family. I guess the Firmiana exemplifies what I've described about some of the contents in Sebright's collection: though I have never seen Firmiana grown wholesale nor offered retail, yet somehow Thomas acquired it for his garden.

Magnolia lotungensis


It's easy to cheer for Sebright because they are bold enough to try growing questionably hardy plants; I can enjoy them, in other words, at their expense. One such is Magnolia lotungensis (zone 8) which is commonly called the “Eastern Joy Lotus Tree.” The southeastern China native is also known botanically as Parakmeria lotungensis and Magnolia nitida var. lotungensis. It needs considerable room because in the wild it can attain 100' tall. The tree is evergreen but in Oregon that is not always an attribute, as battered and discolored leaves persist throughout winter until new growth pushes them off in spring. The species is considered Endangered due to logging and deforestation by the IUCN Red List, and it is estimated that less than 2,500 mature trees still exist, so it is a good thing that M. lotungensis is being propagated and grown in the Western world, and that Sebright has at least one in its garden.





















Acer crataegifolium 'Veitchii'


It was fun to see Acer crataegifolium 'Veitchii', a cultivar I used to root, or graft onto any stripe-bark species. Sales were never great for it though, so I discontinued its production, content to have just one in the collection. I transplanted my specimen into the Maple Field at Flora Farm...and it resented the move. The following spring the green leaves appeared with virtually no other color. That was the same spring that Masayoshi Yano, the Japanese maple collector and author, came to visit. As we were walking through the field he paused silently at the 'Veitchii', glanced down at the label, then back up at the tree, then down at the label again, then up to me. Through an interpreter I stuttered that it really was 'Veitchii', and I rummaged through the bush until I found a leaf with a hint of white. It remained without variegation for yet another spring, then finally colored normally the third. On the fourth spring it didn't leaf out at all – it was dead. The crataegifolium species (“Hawthorne maple”) was introduced from Japan in 1879 by Charles Maries, and 'Veitchii' was introduced soon after in 1881. The closeness of these two dates makes me wonder if Maries brought the variegated selection back from Japan too, or was it later discovered in England? I have no answer to that question, except in my research I consulted DeBeaulieu's An Illustrated Guide to Maples and received his opinion that 'Veitchii' is “quite difficult to propagate.” I never found it so.



























Emmenopterys henryi


I wasn't surprised to find Emmenopterys henryi in the Sebright garden; it is rare in cultivation, and I only see it in European and American arboreta. I'm not sure why it's not more common – perhaps it's a hardiness issue – but when introduced in 1907 by E.H. “Chinese” Wilson, he called it “one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of Chinese forests.” I know that it is slow to flower – it took over 75 years at Wakehurst Place in England – so collecting seed outside of China would be problematic. But the young shoots look like the type of wood that would strike roots under mist in summer, and I wonder if anyone has tried. Emmenopterys* is a mouthful to pronounce for the lay gardener, but it means “persistent wings” in reference to the flower bracts that stay attached to the seed capsules. The specific epithet honors Augustine Henry (1857-1930) who was an Asian customs inspector for the British and who made important plant collections in China. Though now endemic to China, fossils from the Eocene show that it once grew in western North America and Europe.

*It was described and named by Professor Daniel Oliver who was Keeper of the Kew Herbarium.



























Schefflera rhododendrifolia


Schefflera brevipendunculata


Jermyn's House, Hiller Arboretum
One used to never encounter Schefflera in temperate botanic gardens, but now it seems there are countless species...at least hardy enough to deserve a try. I have a couple of S. delavayi in my gardens, for example, and they survived a low of 3 degrees F last winter. The species grows from China to Vietnam, and I was a dozen years into my nursery ownership before the plant was even introduced to cultivation. Sebright boasted a S. rhododendrifolia from Yunnan. In the Hillier Manual of Trees and Shrubs we learn that “This remarkable plant lived for many years in front of the Jermyn's House...but was badly damaged in the 78-79 winter and eventually died in 1981.” Oregon's winters are far more brutal than those of southern England, so I'll be anxious to see how Sebright's will fare over the years. Another species at Sebright was S. brevipendunculata with its bold green foliage, and I guess the allure of Schefflera in the garden is to give it a “tropical” look. Another arboretum chock-a-block with the genus is at the Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden in Federal Way, Washington, and the various species blend nicely with their Rhododendrons.



























Hydrangea aspera 'Plum Passion'


A group of Hydrangea aspera featured purple-green foliage, and I knew it was 'Plum Passion', the recent Dan Hinkley/Monrovia (Lowes Box Store) introduction that was discovered by Mikinori Ogisu in central China. I'll probably never grow it as the flowers didn't impress me when I saw them last year. Besides, I don't care for the cultivar name, which Monrovia also used for a Nandina a few years ago. Were they in such passion that they forgot?

Lysimachia paridiformis var. stenophylla

Lysimachia paridiformis var. stenophylla

Also collected in the wild in China by Mikinori Ogisu is Lysimachia paridiformis var. stenophylla. It is a shade-lover and thrives in moist soil, and Sebright's was sited perfectly. We were too early to see the yellow flowers which will crowd into a central cluster later this summer, but even in June the evergreen foliage was lush and cheerful. Lysimachia is a member of the Primulaceae family and is commonly called the “Chinese loosestrife.” The botanical name is Latinized Greek for “ending strife,” as well as the common name, but I can't find out how that came about. Another, more familiar species of Lysimachia is nummularia* which is commonly known as “Creeping Jenny.”

*The specific epithet comes from the Greek word nummus for “coin” due to the round leaf-shape; others say it is because of the color and roundness of the yellow flower.





















Carpinus fangiana


Another Chinese plant was Carpinus fangiana, the “Monkeytail hornbeam.” It is a luxurious-looking species with very large leaves, and once established it will produce long ornamental female flowers. C. fangiana was named after Fang Wen Pei (1899-1983), a famous botanist who collected over 20,000 specimens in western China and who discovered over 100 new species.

Dactylorhiza maculata


A Dactylorhiza maculata, the “Heath Spotted orchid” was in flower; it spikes to about 24” above the ground – “look at me, look at me.” I used to grow this European (also Iceland) orchid – or rather, I had one plant of it – but I think mine was poorly sited since they are native to bogs and moist pastures and mine was in neither. The generic name Dactylorhiza refers to the terrestrial orchid's 2 tubers which are divided like fingers, while the specific name maculata refers to the spots on the leaves.

Pinus uncinata 'Parade Kissen'

Pinus uncinata 'Pixie'

Pinus sylvestris 'Green Penguin'


There are a number of conifers in the garden, some new selections, some old standbys like Abies pinsapo 'Glauca', and some interesting little miniatures from Europe. A couple of teenies were Pinus uncinata 'Parade Kissen' (“Parade Cushion”) and Pinus uncinata 'Pixie'. An interesting upright narrowly-compact dwarf pine was Pinus sylvestris 'Green Penguin', which was selected at J Farms in Oregon about 17 years ago. The tree produces normal – though short – needles, but in late summer an additional lighter-green twisted juvenile flush occurs. This phenomenon is not unique to 'Green Penguin', for it happens with a few other pines such as Pinus sylvestris 'Globosa Viridis', but 'Green Penguin' is more garden-worthy because of its pillar shape.

Taxodium distichum 'Hursley Park'


A large Taxodium distichum 'Hursley Park' – some have it 'Hurly' or 'Hursly) – demonstrates that it is not a dwarf as frequently stated.


























Ginkgo biloba 'Spring Grove'


Another “conifer” that initially shocked me at its size was Ginkgo biloba 'Spring Grove', for it is also considered to be dwarf. It originated as a witch's broom mutation on a male Ginkgo in Spring Grove Cemetery in Ohio. One explanation for its size is that there was more than one broom propagated, which begs the question: which witch's broom? We only grow one of the brooms – 'Spring Grove W.B. 87' – and that leads me to wonder if there are at least 86 more? In any case my clone only reaches the size of a basketball in 8-10 years.


























Cinnamomum porrectum


En memorandum:


Thomas wasn't so fortunate with his Cinnamomum porrectum, and I saw that it had been edited from the landscape due to our cold winter. It had impressed me greatly the year before with its graceful evergreen leaves that are much more elegant than your typical Eucalyptus. C. porrectum is commonly known as “Thep Taro” and is found mainly in southern Thailand. It is an aromatic tree and is used medicinally as a heart tonic, antioxidant, antibacterial and for a lot of other problems. The Cinnamomum – which of course wouldn't be hardy in Oregon – exemplifies the plant collector's lust for the exotic and a strong case of hardiness-zone denial. Even though global warming didn't quite work out and the tree perished, at least Thomas was able to enjoy it for a season or two. Another way of looking at it is that all gardeners have a relationship with their trees, some casual and some intense. In all cases either the tree or the gardener will die, one before the other, so at best the gardener is only “borrowing” his tree...or the tree his gardener. I remind myself of that every December when my family and I go out to cut a Christmas tree: that we'll only be able to borrow it for three weeks, and God bless the tree farmer who worked hard to provide a nice one for our home.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Old Euro Conifers



Juniperus squamata 'Blue Star'

Tsuga mertensiana 'Blue Star'


There is nothing to prevent a person or company from bestowing a cultivar name upon a plant, even when that name has been used before for another in a different genus or species… but it is bad form nevertheless. I would hate, for example, if someone used the 'Summer Fun' name for a conifer or 'Miss Grace' for a Rhododendron since we already have those names for other selections. 'Blue Star' is a wonderful cultivar name, and it was given to a blue-needled Tsuga mertensiana by L. Konijn from Reeuwijk in Holland before 1965, according to Gerd Krussmann in Manual of Cultivated Cultivars. But also 'Blue Star', the squamata juniper that originated as a witches'-broom [sic Krussmann] about 1950, occurred at the Hoogeveen Nursery in the same Reeuwijk, Holland, and then was first introduced in 1964. So what's up – why are two Dutchmen from the same little town so enamored with the "blue star" name, and then use it for different conifers at about the same time? Certainly these two Dutch goobers knew each other, or about each other ; were they friends or rivals I wonder? In any case note how both chose a catchy English name for their plants… which was so entrepreneurial of them.

I bought the Krussmann conifer book, as well as the accompanying three volumes of his Manual of Cultivated Broad-Leaved Trees and Shrubs, when I began my nursery in the 1980's. The conifer tome was first published in 1972 in Europe, then translated and made available to Americans by Timber Press. I've always wondered if K himself was as boring as his books, but he died in 1980 and I never met him. Timber Press states that "K's work taken overall represents the most comprehensive account of woody ornamental plant material available, "and maybe that is what is so boring. I know, I know that many of you are thinking that it is the Flora Wonder Blog that is truly boring, and I should quit picking on old Krussmann…err K.

Abies numidica


Consider the description for Abies numidica : de Lannoy ex Carr. Algerian Fir. Tree 15-20 mm [sic] high,…" Only 15-20 millimeters high? That boner is on the editor, not K. To continue : "… crown densely branched, regularly conical, branches in whorls, heavily branched, horizontally arranged, young branches yellowish green or brown, glabrous, buds large, ovate, not resinous or only somewhat when young, scales fit loosely, light brown ; …" Thank god, a semi-colon finally so I can catch my breath! That was only half of the description – it continued with adjectives such as stiff, flat, thick, twisted etc. By the time you labor through a description you have forgotten what tree you were looking up.



In spite of a boring text, there is still a wealth of information presented, especially if you are interested in conifer history. For example, Abies numidica used to be called A. barborensis, and no wonder since the species is endemic to eastern Algeria in the Babor  Mountains, and "west to Constantine" Hmm… I'm pretty good at geography, but what does Constantinople in more eastern Turkey have to do with "west to Constantine?" Nothing – only that Algeria has a city (3rd largest in the country) named after Constantine the Great too. The Babor mountains is a range that I had never heard of before – until now when I just checked the internet – but the tallest peak is Mt. Babor at 2,004 m. (6,575 ft.) , a perfect altitude for a true fir.

Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum'

Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific'


One feature of K's work that I like is that dates are given most of the time for the introduction of species (1862 for A. numidica) and cultivars. An exception is that no date was given for Sequoiadendron giganteum 'Pendulum'. Hillier says 1863. When describing the cultivar, he mentions that it is common to be "chaotically branched," or that it occasionally develops a "grotesque shape." I thought it was odd that K added, "Commonly grown in France ; not to be grafted on Sequoia sempervirens because of its susceptibility to frost damage." There you have an example where K. supplements his dry verbiage with horticultural advise. For Juniperus communis 'Horstmann' K reminds us that it "must be staked for the first few years," then adds, "Meritorious, very decorative novelty plant!" He is less enthusiastic for Juniperus conferta 'Blue Pacific' and only calls it a "good groundcover," and for Juniperus conferta 'Emerald Sea' it is "very salt tolerant." Duh – it originated from "cuttings collected by J.L Creech on the coast of Honshu, Japan in 1957."

Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Nana'


I don't want to come across as a smug book reviewer, but since I use K's work at least once a week I know it well. I have legitimate gripes about the publication: such as the problem that the pages fall out and that the spine is of brittle material. It also irks me that photos and line drawings are far away from the encyclopedic text, and so difficult to find – and of rather crappy quality besides – that you're not inclined to make the effort to seek them. Furthermore the specific epithets are only slightly larger than the cultivar listings, and at the top of the page you have only the generic name. The difficulty is that – take page 86 for example – the cultivar listings begins with 'Kanaamihiba' and ends with 'Nana', but you don't know that you are in the Chamaecyparis obtusa section without additional effort.

Ok, enough complaining. It was fun to make myself a coffee, alone in my office on last rainy Sunday, and randomly peruse K's Manual. I skipped the "crown conical, buds globose, dark red, resinous, branches tiered…" portion of the text, and just focused on the factoids that I found interesting. A few examples follow:

Abies x arnoldiana 'Poulsen'


Abies x arnoldiana (A. koreana x A. veitchii).
Germinated in 1953 in the Goteborg Botanic Garden, Sweden from seed sent by the Arnold Arboretum. Similar hybrids were developed under controlled conditions by D.T. Poulsen in 1959 ; the seedlings grow faster than A. koreana, the needles are larger, the cones blue to violet and develop very early. Difficult to graft. [The prostate cultivar 'Poulsen' is not difficult to graft whatsoever, at least at Buchholz Nursery].

Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Blue Surprise'


Chamaecyparis lawsoniana 'Blue Surprise'
Developed from seed by Arth. P.J. de Beer in Tilbury, Holland.























Cathaya argyrophylla


Cathaya argyrophylla
China ; Kwangsi Province, found in May 1955, by members of the Kwangfu Lingchu expedition.

Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'


Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'
Stem erect-drooping [what?] … branches… hanging "mane-like" from the limbs… Originated before 1900 by Paillet in Chatenay, France.

Juniperus chinensis 'Titlis' [sorry no photo]
… Foliage silvery-blue, sharp to the touch.

Picea abies 'Acrocona'


Picea abies 'Acrocona'
Originated spontaneously in the forest near Uppsala, Sweden before 1890 ; widely disseminated in cultivation today.


























Picea polita


Picea polita
Tiger-tail spruce (= P. torano Koehne). Japan, main island [Honshu], on lava soil. The common name stems from the "tail-like" pendulous branches of very old trees in Japan.




























Pseudolarix amabilis

Robert Fortune

Pseudolarix amabilis
Golden Larch. E. China ; Chekiang and Kiangsi. Introduced by R. Fortune [pronounced fortoon] into England in 1852. Quite winter hardy. [Fortune was the British spy who, at risk of death, stole tea plants – Camellia sinensis – and tea-processing information from China]





























Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Fletcheri'


Pseudotsuga menziesii 'Fletcheri'
Dwarf form. This and 2 other dwarf forms, 'Nana' and 'Cheesemanii' [really!], developed at the same time before 1895 in the Lock King Nursery of Weybridge Kent, England. The above form [Fletcheri] was eventually introduced by the Fletcher and Son Nursery in 1915…"






















Podocarpus elongatus 'Monmal'


Podocarpus elongatus
Round crowned tree. S. Africa ; only the western Cape Province.





























Podocarpus henkelii


Podocarpus henkelii
(The spelling "henckelii" is incorrect!). S. Africa ; Natal and the bordering regions of the eastern Cape province.

Taxus brevifolia


Taxus L. [Linnaeus] – Yew- Taxaceae
Depending upon the interpretation, either a group of 7-8 species or only 1 large species with a number of subspecies differing by geographical origin. The needles contain the poisonous alkaloid, taxin, which deadly in small amounts for horses ; only the sweet, slimy, red aril is not poisonous, the enclosed seed also contains the poison.

Taxus baccata 'David'
Taxus baccata 'Golden Dwarf'



























Taxus baccata
Cultivated for centuries. Includes many cultivars which are not always easy to distinguish.


 



 















 Taxus baccata 'Amersfoort'


Taxus baccata 'Amersfoort' = T. podocarpoides Hort.
Developed in France, but discovered by the D.B.B. van den Hoorn Nursery of Boskoop and planted at the Amersfoort Hospital in Holland. At first considered a Podocarpus because of its great dissimilarity to other Taxus forms, but later this was cleared up by a closer anatomical inspection.

Amentotaxus argotaenia


Amentotaxus argotaenia
Shrub… (like Cephalotaxus)…
China ; Kwangtung, Lantoa Island ; Hong Kong. z6?
[Not even close to zone 6 hardiness]

Callitris preissii ssp. preissii


Callitris preissii ssp. preissii
Tree with erect or outspread branches
S. Australia ; widely disseminated. Very valuable forestry tree.

Abies procera 'Blaue Hexe'


Abies procera 'Blaue Hexe'
Originated in the Böhlje Nursery in Westerstede, Holland [Germany?] around  1965. One of the most beautiful dwarf Abies. Promising Cultivar!

Araucaria schmitii


Araucaria
About 18 species in New Guinea, E. Australia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and S. Brazil to Chile.



























Araucaria araucana


Araucaria araucana
Monkey Puzzle Tree. Female trees 30-50m, male only 15-18m high. Seeds 3-4.5 cm long, reversed oval-oblong, red-brown, edible ("Pinones"), germinating underground.




























Araucaria bidwillii


Araucaria bidwillii
"Bunya-Bunya".
Australia ; along the coast of Queensland. 1843






















Sciadopitys verticillata


Sciadopitys verticillata = Taxus verticillata Thunb
Japan ; Honshu, Shikoku, Kyushu ; in the mountains, but also frequently cultivated.

Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'


Thuja occidentalis 'Smaragd'
Compact conical form, loosely branched, twigs more or less in a vertical plane… glossy bright green in summer and winter. Selected by D.T. Poulsen, Kvistgaard, Denmark ; introduced in 1950. [smaragd is "emerald" in English] 

Picea abies 'Reflexa'


Picea abies 'Humilis'
Picea abies 'Hytrix'


























I'll admit that the above factoids aren't all that interesting. Besides, I forgot about my coffee and it's now stone cold. One of the problems with the Manual (for me) is that it is so Eurocentric and it is loaded with old European names that are difficult to pronounce or spell. And of course there are a lot of Latin cultivar names like 'Columnaris', 'Repens', 'Nana', 'Argentea' etc. Also many of the cultivars are old fashion and no longer in the trade in America or even in Europe. If you look up the cultivars of Picea abies, over 90 percent can no longer be found in a garden center. Yes, some of them can still be seen in the old arboreta of Europe – but even less in America – and that's what I mean when I say K's book is of interest historically.

But boy, the comma-laced text can be tedious. Let's see if you can guess what species is being described below, based on the text alone:

"Shrub with ascending stem or a short stem and conical crown or procumbent with many knee form, bent stems, bark gray-brown, scaly, splitting into irregular plates, but not exfoliating, young shoots light green at first, then brown to black-brown, glabrous, buds oval-oblong, 6mm long, acuminate, very resinous, scales tightly adpressed ; [hurray, a semi colon!]… "

That is only one-third of the description. Submit a guess if you want as a comment on the Blog, and I'll make it worth your while if you are correct if… any of you are still awake.