Tsuga mertensiana 'Elizabeth' / Elizabeth mountain hemlock

Tsuga mertensiana 'Elizabeth'

[Obrizok] Dwarf, upright, spreader, becoming wider than high, this is the only known spreading mountain hemlock.

Needles are a nice powder Blue, slightly shorter than those of the species. Branching is spreading. Older specimens are often seen with a depressed center, making them "nest-shaped" in appearance. Annual growth is normally around 4 to 6 inches (10 -15 cm), producing a shrubby tree 1.5 feet (45 cm) tall and 5 feet (1.6 m) wide after ten years.

Elsie Fry discovered 'Elizabeth' in Mt Rainier National Park, Washington, in 1940 and named it after her daughter, Elizabeth. Caperci’s Alpine Garden, Seattle, Washington, introduced it to the trade around 1984. This cultivar is now very easy to find in any good garden center and is a worthy addition to any conifer collection.

A nice old specimen of Tsuga mertensiana 'Elizabeth' featured at the ACS Reference Garden at Oregon Garden, Silverton.
Photo by David Olszyk
Tsuga mertensiana 'Elizabeth'
Photo by Henk van Kempen, Dutch Conifer Society.


Sean Callahan

Hey, Dennis. I see you got your 25-year-old 'Elizabeth' up there. She's a beaut! Be sure to add the photographer's name to the "Copyright" box.

Tricia Wilson

About the comment above 'now very easy to find in any good garden centre' ... Ha! As if! Not true!!! I'm on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Any idea where I would find this variety?

Maxwell Cohn

you can easily find a plant at any good garden center in the U.S. It's pretty common.


Thanks for your note, David. That is so interesting--the discrepancy in availability in our two countries. Our climate in southern coastal BC is not much different from the U.S. Pacific Northwest, and certainly it is a place with extraordinary gardens and sophisticated gardeners. Strangely, though, I'm from central Canada and there seemed to be more dwarf and unusual conifers there.


Tricia, You can find this at Tripletree Nursery in Maple Ridge BC . I just bought one 2 days ago.There are quite a few left.

Maxwell Cohn

Hi Rob ... thanks for your input. I notified Tricia of your reply. She only gets notified if somebody replies to the message. You created a new message ...