Picea orientalis 'Oriental Spruce'
Larix gmelinii var. olgensis 'Olga Bay Larch'
Abies forrestii var. smithii (Forrest Fir)
Araucaria angustifolia 'Paraná Pine'
Taiwania cryptomerioides 'Coffin Tree'
Picea mariana 'Nana' – Dwarf Black Spruce
Abies recurvata var. ernestii 'Mini Fir'
Strong Silhouettes and Garden Texture
The Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens Conifer Collection was inaugurated into the American Conifer Society Reference Garden program in April 2014. This means our collection is a “dedicated garden that highlights the beauty, diversity, and utility of conifers in the landscape.” (conifersociety.org) Our collection is available to help educate gardeners and the public about how the different species and cultivars of conifers grow, and how to utilize conifers to best effect within their climatic location.
Our collection contains nearly 200 different varieties, including dwarf, intermediate, and large specimens. Of these, 66 are species (not cultivars). Most of the species conifers were donated in the 1990s by long-time volunteer and supporter Peter Schick. Thirty-seven of those species are on the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature) Red List of threatened species and are classified as our Rare Conifer Collection. Thanks to funding from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust, we were able to improve and expand upon the North Forest portion of our Conifer Collection in 2021. The project increased visitor access and improved the area's drainage and soil.
Our collection also includes California natives and rare exotics from New Zealand, Tasmania, Brazil, Morocco, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Taiwan, South Africa, and other locations. These serve as backdrop and windbreak for our cultivated gardens, in addition to structure and winter interest in our Perennial Garden when herbaceous plants are dormant.
Our conifers offer beautiful variety in their textures, and include weeping forms, vibrant gold foliage in winter, and some with blue cones.
Plant List: MCBG Conifer Collection
Twelve Conifers to Add Year-Round Interest in the Garden Landscape, by Elizabeth Petersen, Nursery Manager at Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens
Read about our Conifer Collection in the American Conifer Society.