Golden Oriental Spruce ID?

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by Luke Harding, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    A while ago I bought some Picea orientalis Aureafor a friends garden. They have been in the ground for about 3 years now and although healthy, they are showing no signs of 'doing their thing'. I understand that they are slow growing trees but I wonder if they were mislabeled at the garden centre. I thought they were going to produce creamy-yellow new growth but I have seen no sign of it yet, although several branches do have a golden 'dusting' on the upper surfaces of the needles. I can't find any mention of this feature in any books or on the web. Have I got a different cultivar of P. orientalis or is the 'dusting' something to be wary of?
    Hope someone can help.
    Luke
     
  2. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I have seen the gold coloring be most prominent on the upperside of the needles and also more prominent on the sunward side(s). Most visible in mid spring to early summer then it seems to fade to more green again.
     
  3. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    More than one clone sold as Picea orientalis 'Aurea'. Can have yellowish new growth or yellowish mature needles.
     
  4. Gordo

    Gordo Active Member 10 Years

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    Camano Island, WA
    The creamy gold young foliage on cultivar 'Aurea' said to last about 6 weeks in spring. Cultivar 'Skylands' has similar coloration lasting all year. Like most trees coloration is apt to be best in full sun.
    Bob Fincham's Coenosium Gardens site has plenty of good information on golden cultivars.
    http://www.coenosium.com/PlantofTheMonth/tomthumbgold.htm
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2006
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    To rephrase, 'Aurea' is not a clonal cultivar--more than one form is sold under the same name. Plants acquired as such can be either the type with yellowish new growth or with yellow on the mature foliage.
     
  6. mr.shep

    mr.shep Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    Location:
    San Joaquin Valley, California
    What was once sold in the nursery trade as being 'Aurea'
    is now 'Aureospicata' in some nurseries. I have 'Skylands'
    and 'Aurea'. The form of 'Aurea' that I have looks like the
    Trompenburg example from the link below, middle photo.

    PlantenTuin Esveld Picture and description of Picea orientalis 'Aurea'

    The person that sold me my 'Aurea' now calls the Spruce he
    is selling 'Aureospicata'. To me those two 'Aurea' forms are
    not quite the same plant in their year round color and in their
    growth habits.

    Below in reference to what Ron wrote is a photo of what many
    'Aurea' have been sold as in the US for Summer color. On these
    there is some gold color to the new growth and then by Summer
    the gold new growth will fade to green and are left with the gold
    dusting on the newest growth needles. Young plants of this form
    may not show the gold colored new growth until they adapt some
    to their in ground setting. Grown in containers here we could wait
    as long as 5-7 years before we saw the newest growth turn golden
    in color.

    Trees: Picea orientalis 'Aurea'

    'Skylands' will not hold the color on the new growth all
    year in a warm climate. It will wash out to a lighter
    green by Summer for us here and mine is at an elevation
    of 5500 feet.

    Jim
     
  7. Luke Harding

    Luke Harding Active Member

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    Wow,
    Thanks guys! Quick response! The information is really helpful and I'm glad to hear the tree is probably ok. One thing that occured to me though is , how do two or more clones manage to reach the market under the same name and yet have such different characteristics? I am familiar with 'Skylands'. Why wasn't one of the clones named similarly? Surely it would make the tree stand out more and save confusion.
    Again, thanks for all the responses. I shall look forward to seeing what the tree does.
    Luke
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Multiple introductions under the same name are not unusual, especially with Latin cultivar names such as 'Aurea'. Often these are old, with plenty of time for at least several parties to have put different clones on the market using the same name. The reasons for doing so will vary with the instance, of course.
     

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