Picea abies 'Little Gem'

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Picea abies 'Little Gem'

Post  bonsaisr on Wed Mar 05, 2014 8:36 pm

I will be attending a workshop for a Little Gem spruce. I was astonished to find there are no existing threads, although it is touted as a very popular bonsai subject. Anybody have any information on it? I would like to know where it originated. I have the date, 1958.
Iris

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Re: Picea abies 'Little Gem'

Post  RKatzin on Fri Mar 07, 2014 12:18 am

Well I certainly am interested in hearing about the workshop. I have a Little Gem developing in the garden and all I've been able to find out about it is that it is a sport from a Birdsnest Spruce.  Rick

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Little Gem

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:13 am

I believe 'Nidiformis.' the birds nest cultivar, is known in Europe, but I don't think 'Little Gem' is. I suspect it is an American cultivar. European bonsai artists apparently don't bother with cultivated Norway spruce, since beautiful yamadori are so plentiful. Just as almost all the larch bonsai you see in the Northeast US are collected. No American bonsaist I know of would give you two cents for a standard nursery Norway spruce. They are beyond ugly. Just about all the Picea abies bonsai you see in these parts are either Little Gem or Nidiformis.
I will report on the workshop if people are interested.
To be precise, these two cultivars are not sports (seed grown mutations). 'Nidiformis' was a witch's broom from a standard tree, and 'Little Gem' was a witch's broom on Nidiformis.
Iris

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Re: Picea abies 'Little Gem'

Post  Tom on Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:16 am

bonsaisr wrote:I believe 'Nidiformis.' the birds nest cultivar, is known in Europe, but I don't think 'Little Gem' is. I suspect it is an American cultivar. European bonsai artists apparently don't bother with cultivated Norway spruce, since beautiful yamadori are so plentiful. Just as almost all the larch bonsai you see in the Northeast US are collected. No American bonsaist I know of would give you two cents for a standard nursery Norway spruce. They are beyond ugly. Just about all the Picea abies bonsai you see in these parts are either Little Gem or Nidiformis.
I will report on the workshop if people are interested.
To be precise, these two cultivars are not sports (seed grown mutations). 'Nidiformis' was a witch's broom from a standard tree, and 'Little Gem' was a witch's broom on Nidiformis.
Iris

'Little Gem' is common as a garden plant in the UK at least - I see it at least as often as Nidiformis in garden centres. I used to have one as a bonsai (a poor example). I killed it unfortunately. Up to that point i'd been using Ezo spruce cultivation information.
I'd be interested in any advice you pick up from the workshop, as I'd like to try another at some point.

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Re: Picea abies 'Little Gem'

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