Wednesday, July 7, 2010


This is a picture of a Japanese cryptomeria. It is part of the skyline of evergreens that line Chapel Drive on Duke's west campus. The roundish growth near the top of this old tree is called a "witch's broom." I had never heard of this until I started reading about rock gardening...apparently there are several dwarf conifers that have been introduced to the nursery trade after an enterprising propogation artist figured out how to graft a piece of a witch's broom onto "normal" rootstock. Now, I don't know if this particular Frankenstein on Duke's campus would produce anything new for the legions of Japanese cedar fans out there (ya'll are out there right?) but if there is an interested botanist reading this who has the time and the ladder....then shoot me me an email. I'd love to watch.

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