Silver Threads

bobfincham(z7WA)October 11, 2012

Hi All,

Want to venture a guess asa to species? It was in a block of pungens but does not look a whole lot like a normal pungens. I suspect it may be englemannii.

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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Hi Bob, this sounds like another simular story :0)
It was the same with the Picea engelmannii 'Bush's Lace which was also found in a field of only Picea pungens.

Indeed, your's look like a Picea engelmannii because it's needles are standing in another angle, more closer to the branches.

You showed us this plant last winter when henk and I visited you.
I guess it's also interesting for our other forum friends to tell them some more about this special one...

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:41AM
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gardener365(5b Illinois USA)

Bob, does it have pubescence on the young shoots when viewed thru a magnifying glass?

Surely it looks like engelmannii, however, there are radical events that take place in nature.

Dax

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 8:04AM
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beng(z6 western MD)

Needles look too slender & forward-swept for pungens. Looks like engelmanni.

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 10:32AM
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bobfincham(z7WA)

Here is a late spring picture showing its initial flush of color.

The creamy white shoots gradually turn light green with whitish shoot tips that still be seen. As they turn green, individual whitish needles stand out against ones that have turned halfway green, thus the name.

I spotted it in a batch of about 5,000 Picea pungens understock at Stanley's that had just been upotted and were just two years old from plugs. I've had it three years with consistent behavior.

A second seedling, which is obviously a Picea pungens, had similar behavior for one year and is now just green all the time.

If the consistency remains, I'll be offering some through Coenosium Gardens in about three years. I believe it to be an englemannii and if it is, I think it is the only white-flushing selection of that species.

Bob

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 12:31PM
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whaas_5a(5A SE WI)

It'll surely be a premiere selection if it is. Nice semi-compact growth habit too.

Do you let the parent be for evaluation or do you graft as well for evaluation?

    Bookmark   October 11, 2012 at 1:46PM
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bluespruce53(Dorset UK)

Very nice indeed Bob .. well done :o)

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 1:57AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Look who's here again!
Hi Stephen, how are you?
We didn't see you here for quite a while.
I hope you can show us some pics again of your nice garden and conifers!

    Bookmark   October 12, 2012 at 2:31AM
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glaciers_end(8WA)

Hi Bob,

I bumped this one forward. Take a look at the link and the pictures posted by Mr. Sluice in the last post. Get some magnification on 'Silver Threads' and we'll (hopefully) have the answer.

~Dave

Here is a link that might be useful: close up of what they mean

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:08AM
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arceesmith

Now, I am certainly no expert on species ID, but I see tremendous similarities in the foliage - the way the needles appear thin and sort of "lacy" - on this plant and one Stephen posted a week or so ago. Also the way the needles are held on the branch looks very similar. Of course bud shots on both plants would be helpful as well.

Could the species on this be Picea smithiana? If not, please explain the characteristic differences.

Here is a link that might be useful: Picea smithiana 'Sunray'

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 11:22AM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

Randall, I guess that Picea smithiana (Zone 8 actually; marginal in zone 7) is not winterdy at Bob's place...

Bob, did you the "hair test" in the meanwhile?

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 3:31PM
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arceesmith

Edwin, I would have thought Bob's place is Zone 7b-8 easily. Maybe he'll pop in.

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 6:31PM
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glaciers_end(8WA)

Hey guys,

Bob regularly offers Picea smithiana 'Ballarat.' I have a very happy specimen in my collection. I have also seen 'Himalaya' and 'Pakistan' on his grounds. They all seem to have done well at Coenosium Gardens.

~Dave

    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 7:31PM
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coniferjoy(z7 The Netherlands)

That's good to know but he found this one in a batch of about 5,000 Picea pungens understock.
It would be very strange to find a Picea smithiana between them :0)

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 7:05AM
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bobfincham(z7WA)

I managed to get out between rain showers with my magnifier. It is as bald as Telly Savalas. That makes it Picea pungens.

I checked 'Bush's Lace' and 'Blue Angel' and both are as hairy as Aunt Matilda's moustache.

Waas I di carefully cut scion wood to build up numbers while being selective so as not to affect the overall growth habit of the original. Then I plant a grafted plant next to the original for comparison purposes. If evrything goes as planned then I start to offer it for sale. Too many plants have been sold without proper evaluation. I wouldn't have offered 'Buttermilk Falls' for a few more years but some scion wood got out and it is getting into circulation. I wanted to evaluate its stability for a few more years. I still question it.

I can grow smithiana here but sometimes I get winter damage. I lost a nice 'Ballarat' over a two winter span that was in the ground. 'Silver Threads' doesn't fit with that species for a variety of reasons.

Being a collector I would like to try 'Sunray' but I suspect it is less hardy than the green forms and would not survive here.

Bob

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 4:58PM
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