Pinus parviflora 'Koko no e' / Koko no e Japanese white pine

Pinus parviflora 'Koko no e' is a relatively slow-growing, upright, tree form of Japanese white pine with short, blue-green needles that grow with a slight twist and radiate from the stems. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 4 feet (1.2 m) tall and 18 inches (45 cm) wide, an annual growth rate of 4 to 6 inches (10 - 15 cm).

Because of its short needles, 'Koko no e' is a favorite of bonsai enthusiasts. Most nursery material has been heavily pruned and candled; a practice that must be continued by home gardeners who wish to maintain its dwarf, compact structure.

This cultivar originated in Japan long ago. Its first mention in western botanical literature was in the mid-1970s in one of American bonsai master, Bill Valvanis' bonsai journals.

Pinus parviflora 'Koko no e' — a specimen in Dawes arboretum, Newark, Ohio. This plant has likely never been pruned, and demonstrates the result if allowed to grow "free range."
Photo by Steve Duggins