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Copyright 1998-2003. New Ornamentals Society. All Rights Reserved.
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Calocedrus decurrens is one of the great conifer species for modern gardens. This wonderful plant that I like to call "the octopus" exists not in a great California park but in the Old South. It has endured hurricanes and storms for over a century at the Maymont estate gardens of Richmond, Virginia, a couple of hours from the American capital. The species has class, charm, and elegance on either US coast and in countless countries around the world. It is truly a "tree fern" and one also gets the most wonderfully textured reddish-brown bark in existance. Unlike most Thuja species this species ages to develop more character and beauty.

The two trees below are over 75 years old at the old fairgrounds (now rose garden and theatre) in Raleigh NC. Similarly fine trees exist all over the eastern and southeastern US.

Click images for a larger version.

Scroll down below for the amazing C. macrolepis



click image to enlarge

Calocedrus decurrens 'Aureovariegata'
lc: mottled golden yellow, quite irregularly, some shoots being 80% chimera and others much less so. Contract between the yellow and dark green is
lc: one of the best, starkest contrasts in the conifer world.
li: Beissner, L. 1904. Mitt. D.D.G. 13: 257

click image to enlarge
JC Raulston Arboretum. Summer 2003.

Calocedrus decurrens 'Berrima Gold'
ha: broadly columnar
gr: 6-10 in. per year
lc: whitish gold to yellowish-green in spring and summer.
afc: often a nice golden-orange in fall and winter.
lu: requires partial shade to prevent sunscorch.
Stanley and Sons

Calocedrus decurrens 'Columnaris'
ha: more narrowly columnar, short and crowded branchlets
ns: very narrowly columnar and fastigiate variants are common in gardens among seedlings.
li: Beissner, L. 1884. Die Zierg. p. 472

Calocedrus decurrens 'Compacta'
ht: 6 ft.
ha: compact, dense, often globose, growing 2-4 in. a year
li: Beissner, L. 1891. Hand. der Nadel. p. 30

Calocedrus decurrens 'Depressa'
ns: a listed name, not in the trade today.

Calocedrus decurrens 'Glauca
lc: more glaucous blue
li: Beissner, L. 1884. Die Zierg. p. 472

Calocedrus decurrens 'Horizontalis'
ha: branching somewhat horizontal
or: Spaeth (Catalog 1891)

Calocedrus decurrens 'Intricata'
ht: 60cm tall x 35-45cm wide (12 years)
ha: dwarf, compact, upright
lc: tips of sprays sometimes brownish
ns: named for the intricate pattern of dense branch formation
or: James Noble, San Francisco, CA USA as seedling
li: Hillier, H.G. 1964. Dwarf conifers. p. 42.

Calocedrus decurrens 'Maupin Glow'
ht: 15 ft.
ha: columnar
gr: 6-12 in. per year
lc: bright yellow, not burning in sun
or: Greg Rigby of Horseshoe Nur. found in Deschutes Co. near Maupin OR
Stanley and Sons

Calocedrus decurrens 'Nana'
ha: dwarf, compact
li: Dallimore, W. and A.B. Jackson. 1923. A Hand. of Conif. p.304

Calocedrus decurrens 'Pillar'
ha: fastigiate, pillar-shaped

Calocedrus decurrens 'Pioneer Sentry' (8/01)
ht 40 ft. tall when 3 ft. wide
ha: more narrowly columnar to fastigiate
lc: bright green
or: found at Portland Cemetary, Portland OR
in: Stanley and Sons c. 2001 (online catalog 2001)
Stanley and Sons

Calocedrus decurrens 'Riet'
ht: 3 ft. tall x 3 ft. wide
ha: compact, globose

click image to enlarge
Atlanta Botanical Garden. Summer 2003. These wonderful Calocedrus trees are planted both outdoors and indoors in the Atlanta, Georgia climate.

Calocedrus macrolepis