Thursday, January 8, 2009

Mugo the Evil Henchmen

Pinus mugo 'Mitsch Mini' (above)
Pinus mugo 'Pot O'Gold' (above)
Pinus mugo 'Aurea' (above)
Pinus mugo 'Donna's Mini' (above)

For those of you not familiar with conifers there is a group with the botanical name pinus mugo. The name mugo has always sounded like some kind of evil villain or henchman in a soon to be made comic book movie to me.
The name mugo comes from the latin word for where the pine originates in the European alps region. It's also sometimes referred to as a Swiss mountain pine.
Now, here's where it gets interesting. Mugo pines grow in many different forms and rates of growth. From the very slow and small growing miniature plants that only grow 1/2 inch per year to the larger more upright growing forms that can grow up to a foot per year.
The pictures above are some of the smaller plants available. Some of the upright forms available also have great names like 'big tuna' and 'tannenbaum'. No matter if you're just getting into plants or an avid collector mugo pines work in any situation.

On a last note, if there was a holy grail of pines to me it would be a dragon eye or 'oculis draconis' (the needles of a dragon eye pine seen above) version of a mounding mugo pine. That would be super cool.

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