Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Siberian Carpet Cypress

Microbiota decussata is the only member of the Microbiota family which is related to the Thuja Arborvitae trees of Asia and North America. It is native to subalpine regions of southeast Siberia where it is common and often even above tree line. Coming from extremely cold harsh climates it grows very well in most of Canada and surprisingly far south into the U.S. ( grows well in Maryland and likely thrives to about Mid Virginia ). It is a fast growing evergreen groundcover shrub reaching up yo 1.5 x 6.5 feet in 5 years and 1.5 x 13 feet in 10 years. The largest on record is 2 feet tall and 23 feet wide though the Siberian Carpet Cypress is also easily prunable to keep it much smaller. It can live very long up to 230 years.
The foliage grows in lush green flattened sprays with tiny, scale-like triangular leaves that are barely visible to the eye. In cold climates this foliage turns bronze in the winter ( tends to turn more bronze in full sun than shade ).
The flowers and cones are very small and neither ornamental nor visible.
Hardy from zone 1 to 7b; it is known to survive temps colder than - 70 F in its native Siberia! Tolerant of moist soils as long as well drained; it is also very shade tolerant making it an excellent replacement for groundcover Juniper which absolutely hates shade but looks similar. The Siberian Carpet Cypress also grows well in full sun except in the southern limits of its range. It can be reproduced from both seed and cuttings taken from half hardened shoots in summer. Tolerant of temporary flooding, however plants growing on persistently wet soil may develop root rot. Not prone to insects or disease.

* photo taken on annual Horticultural Society of Maryland Garden Tour

* photos taken on May 16 2011 in Washington, D.C.

* photo taken on June 1 2014 @ Maryland Horticulturalist Society garden tour, Columbia

* photos taken on July 9 2016 in Columbia, MD

'Drew's Blue'
Dense and mounding in habit, reaching up to 2 x 4 feet. It makes a great plant for the rock garden.
The attractive foliage is blue-green, turning to deep purplish-red during winter.
Hardy zones 2 to 8.

* photo taken on June 1 2013 in Clarksville, MD

Upright rather than spreading habit to 3 feet in height and width.

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