Larix gmelinii 'Romberg Park' / Romberg Park Dahurian larch
Larix gmelinii 'Romberg Park' is a irregular-globose dwarf selection of Dahurian larch with tufts of short branches holding softly textured, light-green needles that turn yellow in fall before being shed, revealing the many short stems for winter interest, giving the plant year-round appeal. In early spring, it is one of the first conifers to push growth, programmed from its cold native habitat and short growing season to take full advantage of warming temperatures. This species performs best moist, light soil in a sunny rock garden.
After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 3 feet (1 m) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 3 - 4 inches in all directions.
This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the late 1990s by Günther Eschrich of Recklinghausen Germany. He found the original broom growing in Romberg Park, Dortmund, Germany. Another commonly seen cultivar of this species, L. gmelinii 'Dortmund' was long thought to be a different selection, but recently determined to be the same plant as 'Romberg Park.'
Larix gmelinii 'Romberg Park' — an amazing mature specimen at the ACS Reference Garden at Oregon Garden, Silverton.
Photo by Oregon State University
Larix gmelinii 'Romberg Park' — a closeup of foliage detail.
Photo by Bill Barger