Pinus nigra 'Helga' / Helga Austrian pine

Pinus nigra 'Helen' is a dwarf, irregularly globose selection of Austrian pine with dense branching and shorter-than-typical, dark green needles with distinctive white foliar buds. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 3 feet (90 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 3 to 4 inches (7.5 - 10 cm).

[ Humphrey Welch and Gordon Haddow in The World Checklist of Conifers ] Very slow-growing dwarf upright form; short, fresh-green needles and contrasting white buds.

This cultivar originated as a witch's broom found in the mid-1960s in a 60-year-old plantation of Pinus nigra var. nigra by Dr. Hans Simon, Marktheidenfeld Germany, who named the plant in honor of his wife.

Pinus nigra 'Helga' in The Harper Collection of Dwarf & Rare Conifers, at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan; photo from August 2005.
Photo by Dax Herbst
Pinus nigra 'Helen' — in a private garden in Petaluma, California (USDA Zone 9b, Mediterranean climate).
Photo by Sara Malone
Pinus nigra 'Helga'. This picture was taken in 2000 during the ACS tour of the Harper Collection, Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan.
Photo by Ken Church