Picea mariana/glauca 'Blue Teardrop'

bobfincham(z7WA)April 22, 2012

'Blue Teardrop' and 'Beehive' Species

This morning I received an email from Edwin questioning the species of 'Blue Teardrop' and 'Beehive' since their names had come up on the Gardenweb. He pointed out some questioning features to me. So I went out and took some cuttings for comparison purposes. I have always had some issues distinguishing conifer species and could easily be in error.

Both plants originated from reversions on plants at Mitsch Nursery in the late 1980's. The plant John, and later myself, sold as Picea mariana 'Nana' had this nice blue reversion that I propagated and named 'Blue Teardrop'. At about the same time one of our Picea glauca 'Echiniformis' stock plants developed a reversion that I named Picea glauca 'Beehive'. Reversions were common on both of these species and usually just removed.

I had a number of people verify the species for me and kept them under those names. And this is the first time their species was ever questioned. I haven't propagated the 'Beehive' in almost ten years and the 'Blue Teardrop' has only been done intermittently over the same time span. Both are very nice plants but since I have over 1000 different cultivars in my collection I tended to overlook them at propagation time, especially since there wasn't any demand for either one (until recently).

Alan Mitchell was a good friend and pioneered the idea of scents to identify species. So I went to my wife, Dianne, whose sense of smell is much better than mine, to do some comparison smell tests. According to Alan, Picea mariana smells of menthol while glauce smells like "mouse" (I assume to be an earth smell). She verified that 'Blue Teardrop' smelled like Picea glauca 'Hudsonii' and that 'Beehive' had more of an earthy smell.

Then I checked a conifer species handbook that pointed out to me that Picea glauca has smooth bark on twigs while mariana has "hairy" bark. 'Blue Teardrop' is smooth while 'Beehive' is hairy.

So a correction is due: these two cultivars are actually Picea glauca 'Blue Teardrop' and Picea mariana 'Beehive'.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
firefightergardener(7/8)

Thanks Bob. :)

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 2:33PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
clement_2006

Thanks Bob, according to you.It's right.
Clement

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

Do you hear that? That is the sound of folks updating their databases and printing labels for their markers!

Thanks for the confirmation and clarification.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
glaciers_end(8WA)

wow. This is huge! All around the world, labels and databases are being changed, especially in the case of 'Blue Teardrop,' since it's a more prevalent plant. Nice work, team.

~Dave

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 3:27PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

So which one is this, mariana or glauca?

Dave

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:00PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Dave, your's is a Picea glauca.
The 2 stomatal bands on both sides of the needles is typical for this species.
Picea mariana do have only 1 stomatal band in the middle of it's needles...

Picea mariana needles are shorter and less thick.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:21PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
dcsteg(5 Shawnee, KS.)

Edwin,

Looks like a species name change is in order.

Thanks,

Dave

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 5:57PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
monkeytreeboy15(Zone 7b/8a)

I am glad to hear a definitive identification from the nose of the pro. :0)

Also thanks for sharing this important update with us, Mr. Fincham. It is greatly appreciated.

-Sam

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 9:35PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

I always had in mind that there was an origin confusion with both plants...

Overhere I also can hear the sound of folks updating their databases and printing labels for their markers, but unfortunately these are only the one's wo are reading this forum.
For the time to come there will be a lot of relabeling to do for nurserymen and garden centres owners...

Here is a link that might be useful: work that have to be done!

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:48AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

The same is for the 'Beehive' which is everywhere availlable under the wrong species name.

All is a matter of good determination skills which is also rarely seen by nurserymen, all are "lazy followers" imo...

Here is a link that might be useful: 'Beehive'

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 3:57AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Hi Edwin,

I've written to a moderator at UBC Botanical Forums to change the title of the thread & cultivar name & I've written a follow-up.

One done!

Dax

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 7:32AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
clement_2006

In fine :

Picea glauca "Blue Teardrop"

and

Picea mariana "Beehive"

2 different cultivar from 2 different species!
Clement

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:22PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Thanks Dax, that's a step in the good direction!

Thanks Clement for your pics!
This 'Beehive' specimen is growing in my Pinetum.

Maybe it's the only one in whole Europe for now, but it's propagated so it will be availlable under the good name in Europe soon :0)

    Bookmark   April 23, 2012 at 12:35PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Pine grafting question
Hi,last year I noticed a particularly lovely dwarf...
gary77788
Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca??
I found this at the nursery today, claiming to be var....
fireweed22
Metasequoia glyptostroboides "MATTHAEI BROOM"
I would love to hear of your experiences with this...
rouge21_gw
Utah conifer grafters?
I live in Salt Lake and am wanting to try grafting....
treeforme
A question for the grafters among you
Hi,with experience,I've realised the main hurdle to...
gary77788
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™