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Thuja standishii (Gord.) Carr.

Modern name

Thuja standishii (Gordon) Carrière


Thujopsis standishii Gord.; Thuja japonica Maxim.

A tree up to 100 ft high in Japan, with a slender trunk and a shaggy, deep red bark; branches horizontal, curved upwards at the ends; leaf-sprays arching downwards, their ultimate subdivisions about 110 in. wide. Leaves scale-like, about 18 in. long, the lateral pairs with their edges turned inwards and clasping the flatter ones above and below the twig, blunt, thickened and incurved towards the apex, rather pale yellowish green on the upper side of the twig, glaucous on the lower side, except at the points. Cones oblong, 38 in. long, composed of about ten broadly oval, overlapping scales, only two pairs of which bear seeds.

Native of Japan, in the mountains of Honshu and Shikoku; introduced by Fortune for Standish of Bagshot in 1860-1. Fortune only saw it as a cultivated tree about Tokyo, and one of the first Europeans to see it growing wild was the Veitchian collector Maries, who gathered specimens in 1878 in the mountains of Honshu. This species has the most open branching of the cultivated species, and in its coarse branchlets it resembles Thujopsis dolabrata.

Examples measured recently are: Kew, pl. 1895, 38 × 314 ft (1965); National Pinetum, Bedgebury, pl. 1926, 30 × 3 ft (1970); Leonardslee, Sussex, one of three, 51 × 434 ft (1969); Linton Park, Kent, pl. 1866, 67 × 712 ft (1970); Little Hall, Kent, pl. 1906, 51 × 5 ft (1973); Longleat, Wilts, 54 × 614 ft (1971); Westonbirt, Glos., pl. 1875, 63 × 4 ft (1971); Trentham Park, Notts, 60 × 414 ft (1968); Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 56 × 812 ft (1975); Inistioge, Co. Kilkenny, Eire, 55 × 812 ft (1975).

T. koraiensis Nakai T. kongoensis Nakai – According to Wilson, this species, as he saw it in Korea, is ‘remarkable in its variations of habit from a sprawling shrub of nondescript shape to a slender, graceful, narrowly pyramidal tree.’ (Journ. Am. Arb., Vol. 1 (1919), p. 186). He gives its maximum height as 25 to 30 ft, but this it rarely attains and usually it forms an impenetrable tangle 1 to 2 yards high.

T. koraiensis is closely allied to T. standishii, but the leaf sprays are flatter and the undersides of the leaves are unusually glaucous for this genus, almost silvery. The aroma of the crushed leaves has been likened by Alan Mitchell to that of rich fruit-cake ‘with plenty of almonds’, against that of oil of citronella or lemon-scented verbena in T. standishii.

Wilson introduced this species in 1917 from the Diamond Mountains of northern Korea, and probably all the largest plants in collections are from his seeds (W. 9244); these, or plants raised from them, were distributed by F. R. S. Balfour of Dawyck, who organised the British share of the financing of Wilson’s expedition. These plants are mostly 20 to 33 ft high and 1 to 2 ft in girth.

From the Supplement (Vol. V)

specimens: Kew, pl. 1895, 42 × 414 ft and 50 × 314 ft (1980); National Pinetum, Bedgebury, Kent, pl. 1926, 40 × 414 ft (1983); Linton Park, Kent, pl. 1866, 72 × 8 ft (1985); St Clere, Kent, pl. c. 1905, 42 × 614 ft (1983); Benenden School, Kent, Garden, 72 × 914 ft (1979); Little Hall, Canterbury, Kent, pl. 1906, the tree mentioned not measured since 1973, another 60 × 412 ft (1984); Westonbirt, Glos., pl. 1875, 63 × 4 ft (1971); Tregrehan, Cornwall, 77 × 7 ft (1979); Patterdale Hall, Westm., 60 × 10 ft at 3 ft (1985); Coed Coch, Clwyd, 66 × 834 ft (1984); Camperdown House, Dundee, 66 × 612 ft (1985); Castlewellan, Co. Down, 58 × 614 ft (1982); Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 60 × 812 ft at 3 ft (1980); Avondale, Co. Wicklow, Eire, 52 × 612 ft (1980).

T. koraiensis – It remains true that no notable specimens of this Korean species have been recorded. In the National Pinetum, Bedgebury, Kent, it is 26 × 134 ft (1983) and at Hergest Croft, Herefordshire, 42 × 214 ft (1980).



Other species in the genus