Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome' / snake-eye Japanese black pine

Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome' is an upright pyramidal selection of Japanese black pine with open branching, and 2 striking, yellow bands of golden yellow on each otherwise dark-green needle. Simply put, this is a strikingly beautiful pine. After 10 years of growth, a mature specimen will measure 10 feet (3 m) tall and 7 feet (2 m) wide, an annual growth rate in excess of 12 inches (30 cm).

This cultivar originated long ago in Japan. Brookside Gardens of Wheaton, Maryland is credited with introducing it to the U.S. nursery trade around 1979. Barry Yinger, an associate of Brookside Gardens traveled extensively in Japan and Korea and is responsible for bringing home many of the colorful Japanese pines we know today.

Shirome janome loosely translated from Japanese means "cold white eyes of the snake." it is also one of eight selections made in 2020 for the popular ACS Collectors' Conifer of the Year program.


Pinus thunbergii `Shirome janome' from the first year opening of the New York Botanical Garden conifer site.
Photo by John Fertig
Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome' — a closeup of foliage detail in spring.
Photo by Talon Buchholz, courtesy of Buchholz Nursery, inc.
Pinus thunbergii 'Shirome janome' — a closeup of foliage detail. Colors become somewhat muted in winter in colder parts of the world.
Photo by Talon Buchholz, courtesy of Buchholz Nursery, inc.

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