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Carpinus - Breeding Programs

web: program details (Morton Arboretum/Dr. Susan Weigrefe)

Carpinus - Literature

li: Santamour, F.S. Interspecific hybridization in Carpinus. Metropol.
li: Tree Improvement Alliance (METRIA) Proc. 1: 49-56

li: Santamour, F.S. 1995. Survival, Growth, and Fertility of Carpinus
li: hybrids. HortScience 30(6): 1311.

Carpinus betulus 'Albomarmorata' = 'Marmorata'


Carpinus betulus 'Albovariegata'

lc: white mottled, usually finely speckled

Carpinus betulus 'Asplenifolia'

lm: deeply incised, regularly double-serrate (irregular in 'Incisa'), sometimes appearing to be lobed.
ll: larger than 'Incisa'

Carpinus betulus var. angustifolia

ls: oblong - less oval the var. betulus
lm, la: apex and lobes more acuminate than var. betulus
frs: nuts more conical and more sharply pointed - var. betulus is mostly oval.

Carpinus betulus 'Aureovariegata' = 'Variegata'


Carpinus betulus f. carpinizza (Host) Neilr. (var. carpinizza)

lb: distinctly cordate
ls: fewer vein pairs, 7-9 - usually 10-13 in species
ll: smaller than f. betulus (typical)
frs: nut bracts entire - f. betulus (typical) is usually 3-lobed or toothed

Carpinus betulus 'Columnaris'

ha: dense, slower, columnar when young becoming oval, strong central leader. Some say that this does not get globose like
ha: 'Fastigiata' but this is not supported by literature and older photos.
ns: many plants under this name prove to be 'Fastigiata' which is by far more common.
in: Späth Nur. c. 1891

Carpinus betulus 'Columnaris Nana'

ns: a listed name with Mallot Court Nursery UK in 2002. It is a doubtful name.

Carpinus betulus 'Fastigiata' ('Pyramidalis', 'Erecta')

Click image to enlarge
Biltmore Gardens. Spring 2003. One of the older plants of this cultivar in the US. It is getting that mature, ovoid to subglobose look.

ht: 30-50 ft. tall x 20-30 ft. wide
ha: columnar to conical when young, globose with age (wider than 'Columnaris), more vigorous than 'Columnaris'. Some say
ha: this lacks a central leader but Krussman says "always with a long apical leader".
or: Europe before 1883. W.J. Bean notes that trees of this habit have been found in the wild in Germany and France.
id: this is the most common clone of the upright type and is what is usually seen in the US.
aw: RHS AGM 1969

Carpinus betulus 'Franz Fontaine' ('Frans Fountain')

Click image to enlarge
Raulston Arboretum. July 2003.

ht: 30-35 ft. tall x 15-18 ft. wide
ha: narrow with spreading limbs, not widening as much as 'Fastigiata' by some reports.
lc: darker green than species typical
in: Holland to US trade

Carpinus betulus 'Globosa'

ht: 20-30 ft. tall
ha: globose, lacking a central leader, slower than 'Fastigiata' which which age may be globose also.

Carpinus betulus 'Heterophylla'

lm: deeply incised, but some leaves less cut on the same plant
id: W.J. Bean states that Kirchner "who grew both" said this clone is difference from 'Incisa' so separation is justified. Krussman
id: includes it under 'Incisa'
Forest Farm

Carpinus betulus 'Horizontalis'

ha: horizontal, flat-topped, eventually globose, reminding some of the look of Crataegus crus-galli
in: M. Jouin
or: Simon-Louis Nur. found in wild near Metz, France c. 1900

Carpinus betulus 'Incisa' ('Laciniata')

lm: deeply incised, coarsely and irregularly serrate (regular in 'Asplenifolia')
ls: only 6 pairs of veins, many more in 'Asplenifolia'.
ll: smaller, shorter blade than 'Asplenifolia'
id: it has been confused with 'Quercifolia' and 'Asplenifolia' but all are distinct entities. Krussman lumps it with 'Asplenifolia'
id: but Bean's distinctions and others are worth noting.
in: Loddiges Nur. 1800's
li: Aiton. 1789. Hort. Kew. (it was probably grown at Kew some years before)

Carpinus betulus 'Marmorata' ('Albomarmorata')

lc: marbled white
or: Europe before 1867
in: deVos, Hazerswoulde, Netherlands to trade

Carpinus betulus 'Monument'

ha: pyramidal
or: Italy
li: Dirr, M.A. 1998. Man. Woody Land. Plts. Stipes. p. 180

Carpinus betulus 'Lacinata' = 'Incisa'


Carpinus betulus var. parva O. Radde

ls: ovate
ll: smaller than species typical
lv: more pubescent, especially in the lower half of the blade. The nut is also pubescent at the apex.
eval: of no real horticultural merit

Carpinus betulus 'Pendula'

Click image to enlarge
Raulston Arboretum. Summer 2003.

ha: irregularly weeping, pendulous, usually very small and shrubby, umbrella-like to subglobose with time, semi-dwarf. Krussman
ha: states it is "very weak growing" so it is not widely sold. Older twigs may be erect at times.
eval: 'Vienna Weeping' is strong, more elegant and has replaced it.
Forest Farm

Carpinus betulus 'Pendula Dervaesii'

click image to enlarge
Raulston Arboretum. Summer 2003. Based on this and other young plants we know it tends to be more upright, arching, and graceful than the sprawling, spreading, and irregular 'Pendula'.

click image to enlarge
Dawes Arboretum. Summer 2003. A strange if not interesting plant on a foggy day on the large lawns of the Dawes Arboretum. This plant is less upright or more shrubby than some others we have seen.

ha: "still more elegant" than 'Pendula' according to Bean.

Carpinus betulus 'Pinoccheo'

ht: 20 ft. tall x 5 ft. wide as young trees
ha: narrowly columnar, vigorous. A plant at the Raulston Arboretum is very loose though narrow and is quite fruitful.
in: Arborvillage, Holt MO
li: Dirr, M.A. 1998. Man. Woody Land. Plts. Stipes. p. 180

Carpinus betulus 'Punctata'

lc: finely spotted white, not bold nor very showy. A pure collector's item and quite rare.

Carpinus betulus 'Purpurea'

lc: purplish new growth become green, not very showy.

Carpinus betulus 'Pyramidalis' = 'Fastigiata'


Carpinus betulus f. quercifolia (Desf.) Schneid. ('Quercifolia')

lm: oak-like with rounded lobes
id: confused with 'Incisa' but lobes not as rounded as this wild variant.
in: first seen in gardens in Europe about 1783.

Carpinus betulus 'Rogów'

ht: 8 ft. tall x 21 ft. wide in 30 years
ha: dwarf, umbrella-shaped, broad-spreading
li: Rocznik Dend. 42: 63-70 (1994)

Carpinus betulus 'Variegata' ('Aureovariegata')

lc: irregularly mottled yellow, usually a finish speckling.
or: Europe before 1770.

Carpinus betulus 'Vienna Weeping'

ha: distinctly pendulous, more elegant and appealing than 'Pendula'. It seems to be stronger than 'Pendula' which can be very slow.
or: from a notable tree at Hapsburg Place of Emperor Franz Josef, known since 1885.
in: Ed Scanlon to US trade from Europe c. 1975

so: Aesthetic Gardens

Carpinus betulus 'Yewdell' (11/03)

click image to enlarge
Dawes Arboretum. Summer 2003. We only know this curious cultivar from this one plant. It appears to be a dwarf columnar type.

ha: densely ovoid to columnar, leaves often twisted and very closely crowded

Carpinus caroliniana 'Ascendens'

ha: broadly columnar, multiple trunks and no clear leader
la: more long acuminate than species typical
ll: 6-10cm
or: Rochester NY USA c. 1918
so: does not seem to have been in the trade. PALISADE is likely to get a shot at this market.

Carpinus carolinana PALISADE™ 'Ccsqu'

ht: upright with strongly ascending limbs, twice as tall as wide
lc: darker green
afc: yellow
or: Tree Introductions, Athens GA USA
li: Dirr, M.A. 1998. Man. Woody Land. Plts. Stipes. p. 182

Carpinus carolinana 'Pyramidalis'

ht: 40 ft. tall x 33 ft. wide (43 years @ Arnold Arboretum MA USA)
ha: more upright, pyramidal when young, less distinct with age and therefore never a commercial plant.

Carpinus cordata

so: Forest Farm

Carpinus coreana

so: Forest Farm

Carpinus coreana 'Kuro Bijin' (11/3)

lc: leaves chocolate brown in spring and summer, a unique color for the genus
or: Hikaru Fujinami, Kawaguchi City, Japan as seedling before 2002
pat: US PPAF 11/2/03

Carpinus henryana

so: Forest Farm

Carpinus japonica

click image to enlarge
Dawes Arboretum. Summer 2003. When you first see this species fruiting up close you will proclaim: "I must have one". Okay, some of us will want a woods full of it. This Asian beauty is surprisingly scarce in the western world. It got attention maybe 20 years ago in the US but nurseries have been slow to carry it. The deeply etched veins and full, hoppy fruit clusters are always too hard to describe. The veins are more numerous (up to 24 pairs) so the texture is densely quilted or generously engraved or some phrase like that. It's the best large leaf in the genus if you ask me and unquestionably one of the best looking fruits in the entire Hornbeam or Birch family.

Bean calls it "distinct and handsome". Dirr on the other hand says "literature has been kinder to the species than the reality of its performance warrants", citing a general lack of fall color and sometimes "bedraggled"  look of late summer foliage. The RHS gave it an AGM and that is not so common for deciduous, Asian trees. It should not be the main tree in one's home landscape but if room permits it is worthwhile for the leaf quality and fruit alone. It can be so fruitful that it would merit attention for only these pendulous "cones".

The smaller clone 'Ebi Odori' (see below) is also worth considering for the fruit effect. There is no doubt this species is very ripe for the selection and breeding of cultivars, particuarly if fruit colors and fall foliage colors can be added.

Because of the folded bract bases and different fruit shape, some experts have from time to time considered it part of a difference genus - ie. Distegocarpus carpinus Siebold.



Carpinus japonica 'Ebi Odori'

ha: compact or semi-dwarf
frq: abundant showy catkins or aments
ns: the cultivar name means 'dancing shrimp'
prop: said to come true from seed but clonal propagation is preferrable.
lu: primarily valued as a bonsai plant
li: Nihon Kaki Nursery Catalog Spring 1981: 21.
li: Hahn, C.R. and B.R. Yinger. 1983. Cultivars of Japanese plants at
li: Brookside Gardens. Arnoldia 43(4): 6.

Carpinus laxiflora [yellow mottled]

A Carpinus laxiflora in a very rare yellow mottled clone from Japan. This unnamed plant is more curious than gorgeous yet remains a five star collector's item for woody plant lovers. The chimera is light yellow in some sections and an interesting lime and chartreuse at other times. The coverage is rarely more than 15% of the total leaf surface and older leaves tend to lose most of the variegation. With the species' graceful, smallish leaves it makes a refined small tree and is therefore suitable near walkways where it's subtle colors can be seen to best effect.

Click on this image for a larger version.


lc: irregularly mottled light yellow to cream on a dark olive green base. See photo above.
or: Japan
eval: this small-leaved species is very appealing.

Carpinus orientalis

so: Forest Farm

Carpinus polyneura

so: Forest Farm

Carpinus x schuschuensis

so:Heronswood Nursery

Carpinus turczaninovii

Click image to enlarge
Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, Richmond, VA. Spring 2003. This species is interesting for a few good reasons: 1) it's a small tree 15-20 feet in many years, 2) leaves are small, 1.5 inches long for fine texturing, 3) leaves have a glossy, richly veined surface that is pleasing,  and 4) fall color can be brown to orange.

so: Forest Farm

Carpinus viminea

so: Forest Farm