Pinus mugo 'Cranberry Candle' / Cranberry Candle mountain pine

Conifer gardeners are always attracted to and drawn in by plants with seasonal interest. This cute little pine flushes in the spring with a subtle display of cranberry-reddish purple candles — a very unusual trait in this genus.

Pinus mugo 'Cranberry Candle' is a shrubby, low-growing, dwarf selection of mountain pine with uniform, radiating branching and species-typical needles. In spring, the new candles will extend with an attractive flush of reddish-purple, cranberry color. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 24 to 30 inches (60 - 75 cm) tall and somewhat wider, an annual growth rate of 2 to 3 inches (5 - 7.5 cm).

This cultivar, although popular and easy to find in many locations, is unfortunately of unknown origin.

Pinus mugo ‘Cranberry Candles’ — when I bought it, the nursery said that this was one of the few mugos that was fairly dependable in the south United States. This specimen has been in the ground for 5 years, and I’ve even transplanted it once, and it’s beautiful.
Photo by Sandy Horn

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