Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Tropical Plants and Specimen Conifers at Gaylord National Harbor Resort

different kinds of conifer trees
A nice collection of specimen conifers at the Gaylord National Harbor!

The Gaylord National Harbor Resort and Convention Center has an amazing atrium filled with trees, plants, and water features. Many of the tropical plants look familiar yet somehow strange, because most are kinds you would see on an office desk - except these have grown to several feet tall. Take, for example, this huge ZZ Plant [Zamioculcas zamiifolia] just like the one on my bathroom counter - except this one was about 3 feet tall and wide!

zz plant Zamioculcas zamiifolia
Huge Zamioculcas zamiifolia by a water feature
I had some time to kill before heading out to the airport, so I walked around and explored the atrium and some of the outdoor gardens. The most striking indoor plants were the huge Fishtail Palms [Caryota mitis] that surrounded the lobby bar. The name comes from the shape of the leaflets, but these palms also produce wispy broom-like tails on the sides of their trunks.

fishtail palm caryota mitis

fishtail palm caryota mitisfishtail palm caryota mitis

fishtail palm caryota mitis

fishtail palm caryota mitis

Stepping outside the waterfront door of the atrium (that locked behind me) I found a formal garden with conifer topiaries. None of the plants had name placards other than the Fishtail Palm, so I did my best to identify the trees using Google images and this helpful conifer identification article.

Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard' in cloud form
Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard' in cloud form

First up it looks like we have a large Chamaecyparis pisifera 'Boulevard' in cloud form. This specimen was easily 9 feet tall, and the focal point of the waterfront garden. The short blue floppy mop tips were nearly groomed into billowy fluff balls.

Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar - Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'
Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar - Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'
Next up, also in the waterfront garden, this weeping blue atlas cedar [Cedrus atlantica 'Glauca Pendula'] had a 5" caliper trunk (eye-ball measurement) and stood about 7 feet tall. It's blue barbed wire needle clusters lined each whip-like branch.
Chamaecyparis obtusa in cloud or Hindu Pan form
Some kind of Chamaecyparis obtusa in cloud or Hindu Pan form

Walking up the service drive to the front (since I was locked out) I came upon an unknown variety of Chamaecyparis obtusa in cloud, hindu pan, or pom-pom form standing neatly in front of the main entrance. This specimen towered over me, at least 3 meters tall.

Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'

Finally, framing the Chamaecyparis obtusa topiary on both sides were two weeping Alaskan cedar [Chamaecyparis nootkatensis 'Pendula'], with soft floppy fronds (needles) and standing 15 feet or more.

I did my best to identify these using images online, so I welcome any corrections or other input in the comments section! Thanks!

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