Trees & Shrubs

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Salix capusii

Virtually unknown in cultivation, this very attractive willow from C. Asia was introduced by John Whitehead and makes a large shrub with very pretty grey-blue particularly narrow foliage. Could be kept much smaller of course with annual or biannual pruning. Very hardy and easy.

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Salix chaenomeloides 'Mt Aso'

New from Japan, where it is used for cut stems in the floristry industry, this is a pink flowered pussy willow. Large dark-pink flower buds open to show soft furry, silvery pink 'pussies' before the leaves emerge in early spring. Making a large shrub or small tree if left unpruned, this can be kept very much smaller by cutting to the ground each year after flowering.

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Salix exigua

The Coyote willow from the Western USA and Northern Mexico is one of the most lovely of all willows, primarily due to the narrow, silver, linear leaves. A beautiful foil for other things and one of the most silvery things in the garden. Makes a large erect shrub or small tree. Suckers around a bit, but easily hoed off where not wanted, as I do here.

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Salix magnifica (male)

Salix magnifica (male)

A very distinct willow; thought to be a Magnolia when first discovered in China by Wilson in 1909. Forms a hardy large shrub with broad leaves, sometimes up to 20cm long and 13 cm wide, and striking long catkins in spring. Any reasonable soil, best if not too dry. These are male, which bear far superior catkins in spring - red in bud, opening with bright yellow pollen.

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Salix radinostachya (new)

A really rather ornamental shrubby willow, having deep red stems in winter and bright green, relatively large, lanceolate leaves with pale white glaucous undersides and red petioles, the red bleeding into the leaf midrib. Extremely rare in cultivation.

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Sambucus nigra subsp. caerulea (new)

Totally neglected in cultivation over here, this is really very beautiful in fruit. The Blue Elderberry from the Western USA does what it says on the tin. Highly attractive bright pale-sky-blue berries are borne in large bunches in late summer/autumn. Otherwise it is rather similar in most ways to our tough old native, though the foliage is a tad more attractive.

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Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna

A dwarf evergreen shrub and one of the finest forms of Christmas Box, with long, narrow foliage on purple stems and pink tinged white flowers, small, but very sweetly scented and borne in profusion in the middle of winter. Best positioned near your front door where you'll get the full benefit. Very shade and lime tolerant.

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Sarcococca hookeriana var. digyna Crinkle leaf

A dwarf evergreen shrub and one of the finest forms of Christmas Box, with long, narrow foliage, crinkled in this unusual form, on purple stems and pink tinged white flowers, small, but very sweetly scented and borne in profusion in the middle of winter. Best positioned near your front door where you'll get the full benefit. Very shade and lime tolerant, if needed.

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Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis

A dwarf Christmas Box reaching only 60 cm high but spreading over the years to form patches of densely branched stems clothed in glossy dark, evergreen foliage. Typically sweetly fragrant flowers, small but produced en masse, are borne in the depths of winter. Easy in any ordinary soil, and tolerant of shade and poor soil.

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Sarcococca orientalis

A Christmas Box introduced from E China by Roy Lancaster in 1980. Comparatively large, broad green leaves and pink tinged white flowers borne en masse in mid-winter, earlier than most and producing a wonderful sweet fragrance, so best planted near a door or path. An evergreen shrub to about 1m, for virtually any soil or position. Very shade tolerant.

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Sarcococca ruscifolia var. chinensis 'Dragon Gate'

A relatively new form of this hardy and tolerant, dwarf, evergreen shrub collected in 1980 by Roy Lancaster from W China. The leaves differ from the norm by being narrow with a long pointed tip, but the flowers are typically small, white, deliciously fragrant and borne en masse in the depths of winter. Very easy to please, in sun or shade, acid or alkaline soil.

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Sarcococca wallichii

A robust Himalayan species of 'Christmas Box' with comparatively broad evergreen foliage (large for the genus) and deliciously scented small white flowers produced in abundance in early winter (earlier than most), followed by purple-black fruit. This rare species forms a bushy plant to about 1.5m high with arching stems. For a reasonably sheltered position.

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Saxegothaea conspicua Weeping form (new)

From Southern Chile and Argentina comes this monotypic tree, which provides a link between Podocarpaceae and Araucariaceae. A large shrub or more usually a small tree with spreading and drooping branches with pendulous branchlets, particularly weeping in this form. Almost yew-like, but very distinctive in habit as it ages. Perfectly hardy in the UK.

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Schefflera alpina NJM 09.140 (new)

Different from NJM 09.157. A high altitude collection from N. Vietnam of this highly desirable large shrub in the Aralia family. Leathery leaflets radiate in groups of seven from long petioles and heads of purple tinged flowers in early autumn make way for bloomy black fruit. One of the hardier species, favouring upland areas in the wild. This collection from 2380m alt.

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Schefflera delavayi (new)

One of the most handsome and potentially hardiest of the Schefflera now grown in the UK. A variable species in the wild it would seem, but this form bears glossy, rich green leaves composed usually of five leaflets, often mildly lobed when young. Spectacular large terminal heads of small white flowers in summer. A large shrub or small tree for a sheltered spot.

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Schefflera fantsipanensis NJM 10.137

A striking species on account of the two tiered ranks of up to 11 leaflets on the compound leaves. Collected near the Chinese border in N. Vietnam at 2040m alt. on Fan Si Pan Mt., this made a small upright tree to about 5m, though probably smaller here. Best suited to fairly mild areas in the UK, or with overhead protection of trees or a house wall.

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Schefflera gracilis NJM 10.102 (new)

A rather hardy and relatively small growing elegant species, to about 1.8m, from N. Vietnam, where it is found at around 2000m asl in semi-shade. Compound palmate foliage variably has an extra rank of one or two leaflets above the others. Comparatively large and showy panicles of white flowers in late summer adored by insects. Surprising tough in Dec 2010.

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Schefflera rhododendrifolia (syn. impressa)

One of the hardiest members of this most desirable genus of evergreen shrubs or small trees, surviving, with shelter, even the very coldest winters of recent years in inland gardens. Leaflets are variably lobed on young plants, but not in adulthood as they mature into large compound palmate foliage. A large shrub (or even small tree) of very exotic appearance.

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Schefflera sp. nova NJM 10.086

We found this on Tay Con Linh Mountain, Ha Giang Province, N. Vietnam, a stones throw from the Chinese border, at 2425m asl. This fits no known species so needs officially describing! A small evergreen tree to 6m in nature, with narrow heavily toothed foliage when young, each leaflet broadening with age. Black fruit in umbels on a raceme.

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Schefflera sp. nova NJM 13.128 (new)

This recent find from high altitude in Nagaland is apparently an undescribed new species. Sharing the forest at over 2700m asl with Rhododendron macabeanum, this made a small tree to about 10m in the largest specimens, but most often much smaller. Compound palmate leaves with lightly toothed leaflets green above and grey hairy beneath.

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