Douglasia (Pseudotsuga taxifolia) – flowering evergreen coniferous shrub or tree

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Douglasia or Pseudotsuga taxifolia is an evergreen coniferous shrub from the genus Pseudotsuga of the pine family. At home in North America, it forms huge forest areas. A valuable source of timber, some varieties are cultivated in gardens as ornamentals .

  • Family: pine.
  • Origin: North America.
  • Rhizome: taproot, powerful.
  • Stem: the trunk is thick, cylindrical.
  • Leaves: Needles are flat, soft.
  • Fruit: cone.
  • Reproductive ability: propagated by seeds, cuttings.
  • Illumination: at a young age it is shade-loving, in mature it is photophilous.
  • Watering: moisture-loving, without stagnant water, drought-resistant in adulthood.
  • Content temperature: frost-resistant.
  • Flowering time: late April – early May.

plant description

A straight or slightly cone-shaped trunk in shaded places is cleared of branches to two-thirds of its height.

The branches are thin, with a large number of lateral branches, raised in young plants, horizontal in adults. Shoots slightly drooping, often pubescent, orange-red at first, later red-brown.

The bark of young trees is thin, gray, with a smooth surface covered with glands with resin; in mature specimens it thickens to 20-30 cm, cut into grooves and deep cracks.

The needles are soft, narrowly lanceolate, flattened, straight or slightly curved, dark or bluish-green above, gray-gray below with a wax coating, 2-3 cm long. When rubbed, it emits a pleasant orange aroma. It stays on the branches up to 8 years, is located comb or spirally.

Douglas in the photo.

It begins to bloom and bear fruit in natural plantings at the age of 10, in culture – after 30 years. Strobili containing spores, dioecious, small, bloom in late April – May. Males look like yellowish spikelets, females look like green-purple cones.

The fruit is a cone that forms at the ends of the shoots, ovoid-cylindrical, 5-12 cm long. As you can see in the photo below, Douglasia has a special cone structure that distinguishes it from other conifers. Cone scales are oval, leathery, covering membranous three-lobed scales with an elongated pointed lobe protrude strongly from under them.

Cones ripen in September of the same year, contain triangular seeds, resinous, up to 7 mm long, light, 1000 pcs. weigh about 8-14 g.

The life span of individual plants is up to 1000 years.

Varieties and common varieties

There are three varieties of Douglas, yew, gray and gray.

Douglassia yew-shaped – coastal form, grows on the Pacific coast, in height is second only to the evergreen sequoia, the tallest tree in the world. Old specimens reach a height of 60-70 m, trunk thickness up to 2 m. There are trees 100-120 m long, trunk thickness up to 6 m. The plant is fast-growing, gives an increase in height up to 40 per year, in width – up to 20 cm.

Douglassia gray comes from the regions of the North American Rocky Mountains, grows more slowly than the previous one, reaches a height of 40-50 m at home, is more cold-resistant and unpretentious, feels good even in the northern regions. The tree looks like a lush blue spruce, sometimes grown in ornamental gardens, where at the age of 35-40 years it has a height of 10-15 m, a trunk diameter of 20-25 cm.

In culture, there are a number of compact, multi-stemmed varieties with bluish-green, bluish-blue needles. We can note the dwarf form of Densa, the flat-topped Compacta, and the drooping variety of Glauca Pendula.

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