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Long thought extinct, the wollemi pine was discovered in 1994 in a remote section of Australia. With only a small grove in existence, a plan was developed to save the tree from extinction by propagating it and selling its offspring. Trials in the U.S. have placed the wollemi pine in Zones 7 to 11. Grow it in full sun. Because this tree has been around since the time of the dinosaurs, it's safe to say it is long-lived. And apparently brontosaurus browsing isn't a problem.
This flowering evergreen tree has pinnate leaves 4 to 6 inches long. Notched, mid-green leaflets grow in pairs. Pea-like, fragrant blue-violet flowers in terminal racemes appear in spring, maturing to bright red seeds.
A tropical tree by design, the Mexican fire bush freezes to the ground in winter in Zones 8-11, but grows up to 5 feet tall by summer's end. The erect, branched, woody stems bear simple copper-toned leaves with small orange flowers bunched along the tips. It loves the heat, and the more you can give it, the more vigorous it will be.
This deciduous, monoecious, coniferous tree grows to 100 feet tall. Its oddly shaped, branch-pitted trunk is often deeply fluted and "buttressed" and has orange-brown bark. Attractive, lacy foliage is bright green in early summer, turning golden bronze before falling in autumn. Female cones are light brown and ovoid, while male cones are rounder, pendent, and darker brown.
Its great beauty and variety of sizes and shapes makes this deciduous conifer a candidate for extensive use. Bald cypress is a tall, conical, almost columnar tree with pale brown, shallowly fissured bark. Its bright green needles become golden in the fall. The cultivar 'Monarch of Illinois' is shaped totally unlike the typical bald cypress, but shares its delicate foliage and warm-looking, ruddy bark. It has a large, rounded crown, like a maple. With an ultimate height of about 85 feet and spread to 65 feet, it is suited to large gardens. A smaller cultivar, 'Shawnee Brave', has a narrow, pyramidal growth habit, an ultimate height of 70 feet, and a span of up to 18 feet.
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