I have to make a choice between planting Cedrus deodora 'Silver Mist' and 'Snow White'. Can anyone tell me the difference re color, size, sun tolerance, etc.?
Do you mean Snow Sprite...your inside note said Snow White? :-)
There are three deodoras in this plant series.....Cream Puff, Silver Mist and Snow Sprite. The primary characteristic that is common to all of them is their coloration. In my warm climate they are all a soft almost sea foam green color with lighter colored tips in spring and early summer.
Cream Puff is the largest.....considered a true dwarf. Mine grows about 12" or so a year. It's currently a 10' tall and wide cone shaped tree. People love that its needles stay pretty soft to the touch. Mine gets morning shade but full blown afternoon blazing sun. It went through our two record scorching summers just fine...with virtually no needle burn. But the creamy colored tips turned more of a golden yellow until finally turning green.
Next is Silver Mist. The coloration is almost identical to Cream Puff. It also is as fat as it is tall. Maybe even fatter. In fact if its growth rate wasn't closer to 6-12" per year, you couldn't hardly tell Cream Puff and Silver Mist apart. It's tips also are not quite as creamy. This tree also takes the heat and sun really well.
The third is Snow Sprite. It's the baby of the group. It grows at a much slower rate.....maybe 3-6" a year. It's colors are also lighter, staying almost completely creamy colored for a lot of the year. This one does burn, so I've had to grow it in fairly significant shade. And it's needles are also stiffer to the touch.
Hope that helps.