Wintergreen Japanese Umbrella-Pine
Sciadopitys verticillata 'Wintergreen'
Description: The thick, waxy needles of this most unusual tree are reminiscent of the spokes of an umbrella, hence the common name. It is an evergreen conifer, native to Japan, where it is considered a sacred tree. It has survived for many thousands of years. In fact, coal miners in Japan sometimes find “grass coal” which is the result of the compression of umbrella-pine needles. It is slow-growing and elegant, ultimately reaching a height of 30’-60’ in cultivation. It forms a dense, sometimes multi-stemmed, pyramid, and prefers a rich, acidic soil, protected from winter winds.
The ‘Wintergreen’ cultivar, named by the late Dr. Sydney Waxman of the University of Connecticut, was chosen because it retains its lustrous green color through the winter months. Hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.
- Type/habit: Tree
- Key season and features of interest: Elegant form; thick, glossy green needles
- Flowering period: N/A
- Evergreen or deciduous: Evergreen
- Native? No
- Pollinator plant: N/A
- Wildlife benefits: Wildlife habitat
- Site/Condition tolerance: Poor, dry, sandy soils; urban pollution
- Sun/Shade preference: Full sun to part shade with some wind protection
- Soil condition preference: Fertile, moist, acidic, well-drained
- Low maintenance; pest and disease resistant
Growth Habit: Slow growing, dense pyramidal to conical form
Size (mature height and spread): 20-30’ tall by 15-20’ wide
Hardiness (USDA Zones): 4-8
Suggested Uses: Specimen, border, rock garden
Year of award: 2006