Friday, 27 March 2009

Cryptomeria japonica 'Lobbii'

Cryptomeria japonica 'Lobbi'
Cryptomeria japonica D. Don 'Lobbi' Veitch
Cryptomeria japonica D. Don forma lobbii [Carr.] Beissner
Walter Oates described this conifer that stood for many years at the top of the lawn next to the palacio: "C. japonica var. Lobbii stands in a good position at the top of the lawn and is very conspicuous." 1929
This is the pyramidal conifer that is seen in so many postcard views. Some descriptions erroneously describe this as Thuya plicata, a tree that would quickly have out grown this situation.
Description: Slower growing than the species and dense, more compact foliage. Stands all extremes of growing conditions but especially good in high rainfall areas that are well drained. Ideal for a large hedge or slow growing shelter belt. A conical, symmetrical tree. Very neat. 4.5 metres high x 2 metres wide in 10 years in our Nursery/Garden. Zone 5.

James Veitch A Manual of the Coniferae 1881, p. 219
Cryptomeria japonica Lobbi is more compact in habit than the tree above described [C. japonica] ; the branchlets are less pendulous, the foliage is of a brighter and deeper green, the leaves shorter, more pointed, and more closely adpressed to the branchlets. It was sent to us from the Botanic Garden at Buitenzorg, in Java, by Mr. Thomas Lobb in 1853.
p. 221 Seeds of the Japanese Cryptomeria were sent by Dr. Siebold to the Dutch Botanic Garden at Buitenzorg, in Java, so long ago as 1825, and one of the trees raised from this seed was the parent plant of those brought to us from the same garden in 1853, by Mr. Thomas Lobb, from which originated all those now cultivated under the nmae of Cryptomeria japonica Lobbi. It is therefore evident that the latter is the true C. japonica, although Siebold affirms that it differs from the Japanese type in its lighter green foliage, but this difference is too trifling to affect the main fact. It would be more correct nomenclature for the tree at present known in British gardens as C. japonica, to be called C. japonica Fortunei, and that known as C. japonica Lobbi, to be known as C. japonica. [...] In England the Cryptomeria has proved to be hardy, but good specimens are comparatively rare in this country, owing, probably, to climatal causes, the most potent being a less annual rainfall, and a lower average summer temperature than in Japan. It is only in deep rich soils, with an abundance of moisture, and protected from piercing winds, that the Cryptomeria develops the fine ornamental qualities it is seen to possess in its native country, and when planted in such spots, a clear space having a radius of not less than 15 feet should be allowed for it.

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