Have seen some interesting trees lately – and yes, it is winter, which makes them all the more intriguing.
Sassafras tzumu is native to central and southwestern China. Read a little more about it here by someone who has been to China to collect seed! I spotted my specimen in McLaren Falls Park last weekend. As well as the “flluffy” flowers, it also offers autumn colour.
I recently discovered a group of Cryptomeria japonica Elegans (Japanese plume cedar) in the grounds of Government Gardens in Rotorua – my eye caught by both the unusual shape of the trees, as well as their chocolatey-coppery colour. Could it be a reaction to the sulphur-ish air and ground?
Well, no. The trees were simply wearing their winter coats. In summer the soft foliage is a blue-green.
This has such a striking shape, doesn’t it? The single-trunked ones were growing on a slight lean and very definitely plume-like.
Thought I’d finish with a native – golden totara (Podocarpus totara Aurea), the acid yellow foliage not an easy colour to incorporate into a garden but what’s gardening without a challenge?
I have seen golden totara used successfully for topiary and there the colour was an advantage as it really made the piece stand out.