Pinus heldreichii 'Smidtii' / Smidt's Bosnian pine

Pinus heldreichii 'Smidtii' is a very slow growing selection of Bosnian pine, starting as a globose form and eventually growing conical. The sharp, rich green needles are upward facing on branches growing around 1 inch (2.5 cm) per year, creating a bun-shaped plant up to 12 inches (30 cm) tall and wide after 10 years.

This cultivar originated in the wild, found in 1926 by Eugen Smidt who, at the time, was Secretary of the Czechoslovakian Dendrology Society. He found the original plant growing in the mountains near Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina. At the time, this naturally dwarf, compact tree of about 9 feet (3 m) tall and estimated to be more than 500 years old. The first propagation still lives in a rock garden in a park belonging to the Průhonice Research Station near Prague, Czech Republic.

This plant is incorrectly listed in most text books and catalogs as 'Schmidt'. This error has been repeated for a number of years. Other "aka's" include Smid, Smidt and all permutations of 'Smitdii' listed as Pinus leucodermis, a designation made later than heldreichii. It should be noted that prior to 1959 it was proper to list cultivars named after their discoverer with the "ii" suffix.

'Smidtii' was one of two plants selected in 2009 for the ACS Collectors Conifer of the Year program.

Pinus heldreichii 'Smidtii' at the Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers,Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan.
Photo by Dax Herbst