Almost all the lower, spreading evergreens are different kinds of junipers, and these often spread too wide for situations where we want a low plant in a small space, or a neater look, with low but compact, non-spreading plants. Now we can easily satisfy that need, with a tough but attractive evergreen – the Pancake™ Arborvitae. A unique form, this plant combines low growth with a feathery texture and gorgeous shades of sage-green in summer and blue-green in winter.
The Pancake™ Arborvitae grows slowly into a small evergreen bush that will only be around 12 inches tall in 10 years. By then it will be about 2 feet across, making a very interesting flattened globe – a unique shape in the garden, which is sure to catch your eye and draw interest. It will continue to grow slowly, as all evergreens do, but adding very little to its height, and just an inch or two a year to the width. There are lots of small spots in our garden that need filling, and now we have the perfect low-maintenance plant. Not only does this plant stay low, but it does it entirely naturally, without any trimming needed – what a low-maintenance treasure for your garden it is.
Growing Pancake™ Arborvitae Bushes
Plant the Pancake™ Arborvitae as a filler for those inevitable ‘holes’ that develop in beds. Group several for an interesting foreground planting or ground cover. Add some to a collection of other dwarf evergreens with unique colorings and shapes, for the best low-maintenance way to create an interesting garden, even in cold parts of the country. You can use a row of these plants for a unique low border along a path or around a bed – there is always a place for a useful plant like this one.
You may be familiar with the foliage of the arborvitae – perhaps from a hedge, or an upright specimen you already have. Those plants almost always have spreading fans of fine branches, mostly smooth and green, with tiny leaves that grip the stem. So when you see the Pancake™ Arborvitae you may wonder what type of plant it is, because it has tiny soft leaves sticking out of the stems, creating a very different look, with a much more ferny feel and appearance. These unique leaves are ‘juvenile’ leaves, which are normally only seen on very young seedling plants.
The unique genetics of the Pancake Arborvitae means these ‘baby’ leaves are kept throughout the life of the plant, so it has a much softer, fernier look than almost all other arborvitae. As well, it has unique coloring. Normal arborvitae are a rich, light green, but this plant is bluer. Think of the summer foliage as sage-green – light, with a distinct jade-like shading to the green foliage. In winter many arborvitae become bronzy-green, but the Pancake™ Arborvitae turns distinctly blue-green, giving even more unique interest to this fascinating plant.
The Pancake™ Arborvitae is incredibly hardy, all the way down to minus 40 degrees. This means it will grow even in the rigors of zone 3, while also growing across most of the country and all through zone 8. It doesn’t matter where you live, you can enjoy this easy-care plant. It grows in most ordinary garden soils, and it prefers heavier soils, with clay in them, and damp conditions, so for those heavy-soil spots with too much water – this is your plant. It has no pests or diseases or any problems, so just ‘plant and enjoy’.
History and Origins of the Pancake™ Arborvitae
The Pancake™ Arborvitae is a selected form of the eastern arborvitae, or white cedar (Thuja occidentalis). This North American native tree grows all through eastern Canada and down into Maine, Pennsylvania and other north-western states. It even occurs as far south as North Carolina, but as it moves south it is only found at increasingly-higher altitudes, often around lakes, along river banks, and in swampy wetlands. In colder areas varieties such as the Emerald Green Arborvitae are popular for cold-resistant hedging.
It grows into a small tree, usually 40 to 60 feet tall, and sometimes taller. Even in the wild small and spreading forms occur, and over the years gardeners and evergreen enthusiasts have collected and developed a big range of special forms. Many of these are globe-shaped, like the well-named Mr. Bowling Ball™ Arborvitae, and in fact the Pancake™ Arborvitae was developed directly from that perfect globe. Known more correctly as ‘Linesville’, Mr. Bowling Ball was found by the conifer specialist Joe Stupka, in the Linesville Cemetery, Linesville, Pennsylvania.
Around 2005 Gabriel Cesarini, the owner of Phytoecology Nursery, in Ridgely, Maryland, found a unique plant growing in the nursery among plants of Mr. Bowling Ball. There was no indication of where this plant had come from, but it was very different. It had the same soft, ferny foliage, but it stayed much closer to the ground, and the foliage was bluer in summer, but especially more in winter. He was granted a patent on his discovery in 2013, and he called it ‘Concesarini’. We know this plant today as the Pancake™ Arborvitae. Such a unique plant is always in high demand, and our limited stock will not last long, so order now, and enjoy the unique beauty of this special plant.