About Larix laricina ‘Chia’: This tiny tamarack broom was found along the Lake Superior lake shore, on the campus property of Northern Michigan University. The tiny Larix laricina broom was high amongst a natural stand of mixed conifers, and it’s silhouette could be seen in the sky at dusk. This larch cultivar ‘Chia’ is keeping the tiny growth habit of the parent broom. ‘Chia’ was the second broom we found on the NMU campus. The other was also a small, tight fir broom, Abies concolor ‘Wildcat’!
About Larix laricina ‘Cone-ucopia’: This interesting tamarack broom was harvested at dusk in January 2016 in a larch grove in the center of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan on a road trip to Green Bay, Wisconsin. The broom silhouette stood out in the evening sky! No photo of the harvest because it was too dark to photograph well! This conifer broom was one of 3 that were harvested during our road trip that day! The other two larch brooms were ‘Fuzzball’ and ‘Victory’!
Much to our surprise, there was a vacated bird’s nest in the center of the broom and the broom had a copious amount of cones! Thus, it’s name! ‘Cone-ucopia’!
We were thrilled to see this display as it’s first push!
This new cultivar of Larix laricina has a beautiful display of deep rose colored female inflorescence in the Spring!
Larix laricina ‘Cone-ucopia’ is a nice addition to the landscape!
This Western larch broom, Larix occidentalis ‘Cascade Cloud’, was discovered by Mike & Cheryl in 2014 and was finally harvested in November 2019. It took a while to figure out how to retrieve it since it was more than 75 feet high! This find is the first of 2 Larix occidentalis brooms that we found, up in the Cascade Mountain range at an elevation between 5000-6000 ft. This is significant because as noted in the American Conifer Society, there are very few cultivars of Western larch, other than Larix occidentalis ‘Bollinger’ which was a Jerry Morris broom discovered in the 1990’s! We were able to access this broom last November 2018, and grafted some scions, all of which pushed beautifully within a few weeks! We brought them out of the greenhouse in the Spring and we were dismayed that within a month, all of the needles turned yellow and fell off. We discarded most of the grafts with plans to try again in 2019. Much to our surprise, a few weeks later, the grafts that we kept, and the understock, started pushing again! We realized that while in the greenhouse for several months, the temperature never was below 50 degrees (They share space with an orchid collection). And when the grafts were placed outside in the Spring, subjected to the cool nighttime temperatures in the upper 30’s, they responded as though winter was approaching and dropped their needles. Fortunately they pushed again as the outside temperatures warmed up and they are doing great! The second broom we found, up in the Cascade Mountain range of Washington, is Larix occidentalis ‘Stratosphere’, which has not yet been harvested or grafted, and already snowed out for 2019 due to early winter in the mountains!
This Larix occidentalis broom, ‘Stratosphere’ was discovered high in the Cascade Mountains, at an elevation close to 6000 ft. The area was previously logged but fortunately the loggers left this one for the Coneheads! This cool Western larch cultivar also produces cones! We planned to tackle this one in the late fall of 2019 but we were snowed out by early winter. So November 2020, success! At least getting some scions! Now the true test…whether the new grafts push in the Spring! And we need to not repeat the mistake we made with our other Larix occidentalis ‘Cascade Cloud’…!