Pinus strobus 'Sea Urchin' / Sea Urchin White pine

Pinus strobus 'Sea Urchin' is a very slow-growing, dwarf, nearly perfectly globose globose selection of Eastern White pine with fairly dense branches and species-typical silvery Blue-green needles. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 18 to 24 inches (45 - 60 cm) tall and wide, an annual growth rate of 1.5 to 2 inches (3 - 5 cm). As is true with many densely branched, dwarf conifers, custodians of 'Sea Urchin' must be diligent about cleaning out dead needles from the plant's interior on a yearly basis. Old, decaying needles, over time, will begin to decay, inviting fungal issues.

Following are notes from growers and other authorities:

  • Iseli Nursery of Boring, Oregon says, "of all the named forms of globose, compact strobus, 'Sea Urchin' stands out as being one of the finest miniature selections. Comparatively more Blue coloring than other miniature types. An outstanding Sydney Waxman selection."
  • Although Iseli states that the plant may grow to a size of 2 to 3 feet, Don Howse of PorterHowse Farms, Sandy, Oregon reports to "expect a plant no bigger than 1'x1'. Waxman developed the plant at the University of Connecticut."
  • Bob Fincham of Coenosium Gardens, Eatonville, Washington states "this is still the most popular of all of Sidney Waxman's introductions."
This cultivar originated as a witch's broom seedling selected in the late 1970s by Dr. Sidney Waxman of Storrs, Connecticut, USA.
Pinus strobus 'Sea Urchin' at Hidden Lake Gardens, Tipton, Michigan seen during an ACS tour there in 2000. It is part of the Harper Collection.
Photo by Ken Church
Pinus strobus 'Sea Urchin' a young specimen in a private garden in Kansas, October 2006.
Photo by David Stegmaier
Pinus strobus 'Sea Urchin' at Glacier's End Arboretum, Olympia, Washington, summer 2017.
Photo by David Olszyk