Two hard-to-find conifers available: Dahurian Larch and Siberian Spruce

By Sara Malone

We just heard from ACS member John Zebrun, who discovered that the Pitkin Forest Nursery at the University of Idaho is offering, for the first time, seedlings of Dahurian larch and Siberian spruce. Both of these species are difficult to find in the US.

Dahurian Larch

Dahurian larch (Larix gmelinii) is a species of larch native to eastern Siberia and northeastern Mongolia. It prefers moist, acidic, well-drained soil in full sun, and can withstand very cold temperatures (rated Zones 2-5). You can read all about it and its cultivars in the ConiferBase: Larix gmelinii.

Siberian Spruce

Siberian spruce (Picea obovata) is an intermediate grower indigenous to vast areas across Russia to the eastern Pacific coast. Some treat it as a sub-species of Picea abies. There are a number of cultivars of this species. More, with a photo, in the ConiferBase: PIcea obovata.

John has ordered from this nursery before and was impressed with the quality of the seedlings that he has received. He also notes that Pitkin is a very good source of Paxistima myrsinites (Oregon boxwood, mountain lover) which, while not a conifer, is a lovely understory shrub to use with conifers.