Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

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Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  jrodriguez on Tue Oct 11, 2011 10:56 am




JimLewis wrote:
carlos wrote:Definitely not a Harlandii boxwood!

Well, you'll have to take that up with the owner . . .

I am afraid that Carlos is 100% right! This looks like Buxus microphylla 'japonica'. Buxus harlandii, native ti Taiwan, has much smaller leaves and extremely rough bark, even as a young plant. Even it's roots display incredible bark texture. The smoothness
the featured tree displays in it's trunk is a dead giveaway.

I currently do not have a picture of a Harland's boxwood, but they have been featured here extensively. Check out a post called "La Nina and Bonsai". Those are real Harlandii's.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis


Last edited by John Quinn on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:43 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Split topic and included image for convenience)

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:27 pm

Thank you Jose Luis for a mannerly and well-explained answer.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Oct 11, 2011 12:41 pm

jrodriguez wrote:
JimLewis wrote:
carlos wrote:Definitely not a Harlandii boxwood!

Well, you'll have to take that up with the owner . . .

I am afraid that Carlos is 100% right! This looks like Buxus microphylla 'japonica'. Buxus harlandii, native ti Taiwan, has much smaller leaves and extremely rough bark, even as a young plant. Even it's roots display incredible bark texture. The smoothness
the featured tree displays in it's trunk is a dead giveaway.

I currently do not have a picture of a Harland's boxwood, but they have been featured here extensively. Check out a post called "La Nina and Bonsai". Those are real Harlandii's.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

I appreciate your expertise Jose Luis...I wonder if you would look at these links...these all claim to be Harlandii and they are identical to the trees in this planting. In terms of the bark it has been brushed and cleaned and that is why it doesn't appear to be rough. I have several pictures I think that would convince you otherwise as to the species but that will have to wait until I am back at home.

http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/consumer/factsheets/shrubs/buxus_harlandii.html
http://www.southerngrowers.com/harlandii_boxwood.html
http://www.dasfarms.com/harland_boxwoodpage.html http://www.thebonsaiuniverse.com/boards/index.php?topic=9.0

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 1:10 pm

The trees shown here are indeed what's sold in the south as Harlands boxwood and they are completely different when compared to Buxus microphylla 'japonica'. They also look nothing alike in the landscape and aren't easily confused.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:31 pm

Maybe this will help...

First, I have no idea what the native range of B. harlandii is. I have noticed that the boxwoods shown here from Taiwan, Malaysia, etc don't look like our Harlands boxwoods. In the landscape, ours are much more upright and V-shaped (like the ones shown here) rather than the more typical round boxwoods, Buxus microphylla 'japonica'. Also, the bark on those Asia Harlands is very heavy and fissured, and I've never seen that here except for one VERY old Harlands that ended up in the dump before I could get it.

Anyway, like I said before, I don't know it's native range. Nor do I know if there are any differences or forms in plants from different areas. It's entirely possible that the plant that ended up in propagation here in the USA was an upright growing form different from the typical Harlands boxwood we see as bonsai in Asia.

I may be completely off base, but that's how I see it.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  jrodriguez on Tue Oct 11, 2011 2:44 pm

Russell Coker wrote:Maybe this will help...

First, I have no idea what the native range of B. harlandii is. I have noticed that the boxwoods shown here from Taiwan, Malaysia, etc don't look like our Harlands boxwoods. In the landscape, ours are much more upright and V-shaped (like the ones shown here) rather than the more typical round boxwoods, Buxus microphylla 'japonica'. Also, the bark on those Asia Harlands is very heavy and fissured, and I've never seen that here except for one VERY old Harlands that ended up in the dump before I could get it.

Anyway, like I said before, I don't know it's native range. Nor do I know if there are any differences or forms in plants from different areas. It's entirely possible that the plant that ended up in propagation here in the USA was an upright growing form different from the typical Harlands boxwood we see as bonsai in Asia.

I may be completely off base, but that's how I see it.

Russell,

Your explanation might very well be. I currently grow these and have seen them in their native habitat. Even as a young plant, they exhibit deeply fissured and rough bark. Not even by brushing it with a dremel tool one might be able to make it smooth.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:00 pm

Hi Jose Luis.

Could you expand on that? Native habitat, I assume Taiwan? What was the form of the wild plants? And this is what you're growing as Harlands? I'd love to see a good picture of the foliage sometime if you get a chance.

Sorry for all of the questions.

R

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  kenduncan on Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:04 pm

You can not tell it in the pictures here but the trunks of these tree are very fissured, just cleaned to bring out a lighter color for contrast. Two weeks ago they were covered in black crud and mildew, Walter thought that the trunks were painted, they were just cleaned with Ivory soap and a tooth brush. The thing that I see that is different with these trees from most Boxwoods is the shape of the leaves, they are long and narrow as opposed to being rounder as most are.
Ken

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:12 pm

kenduncan wrote:The thing that I see that is different with these trees from most Boxwoods is the shape of the leaves, they are long and narrow as opposed to being rounder as most are.

I agree completely, Ken. Nothing like our Buxus microphylla 'japonica', that's why I'm hoping Jose Luis can show the foliage of his. I'll get a picture of an old landscape Harlands and its foliage today - unless someone beats me to it.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:25 pm

Thanks Russell and Ken...you both are exactly correct.

What is not being taken into account here by our friends is that the picture in question is horribly overexposed in the region of trunks due to the whiteness and you can't see the fissures. When I get home today I will post a pic of one that is untouched and from the same batch from which this forest was created that will definitely show the fissured characteristic of the bark.

Perhaps then we can return this discussion to Jim's intentions:)

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 3:48 pm

jgeanangel wrote:Thanks Russell and Ken...you both are exactly correct.

What is not being taken into account here by our friends is that the picture in question is horribly overexposed in the region of trunks due to the whiteness and you can't see the fissures. When I get home today I will post a pic of one that is untouched and from the same batch from which this forest was created that will definitely show the fissured characteristic of the bark.

Perhaps then we can return this discussion to Jim's intentions:)


Sorry...

I'm sure Jim would appreciate that! Would it be possible to move this boxwood discussion into a new thread? It's interesting (to me anyway) and something I've been wondering about. Fiona?

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  fiona on Tue Oct 11, 2011 4:16 pm

I'm of a mind to move the discussion about harlandii to its own thread if you guys wish it to be so.


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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 11, 2011 5:44 pm

Go ahead, Fiona.

To muddy the waters a bit more, I've come across several references since this came up yesterday and today that indicate that the taxonomy of Buxus "is," as one reference put it, "muddled and confusing." And WE certainly are.

Michael Dirr, of the university of Georgia, who is a botanist I respect, says that B. harlandii "is something of a mystery as to exact identity. The form in cultivation is probably a clone from B. microphylla var. sinica." (I do find "clone" to be an odd word choice in this context.)

I found other references that list B. harlandii as synonymous with B. microphylla japonica. The range of harlandii and microphylla appears to overlap considerably from southern Japan through south China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Both plants are sometimes called Japanese boxwood. The USDA lists B. harlandii as a distinct species.

I looked closely at the bonsai in question (when my eyes could bypass the dazzling white bark <g>) and the leaves were longer and narrower than MY B. microphylla, and there seemed sometimes to be a notch in the tip (usually, but not always, missing in my tree), which fits the drawings of harlandii leaves in Dirr.

Perhaps we should agree to not split hairs quite so closely, and that it doesn't really matter.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 8:15 pm

Interesting info Jim. With a range that wide, there certainly is room for a lot of natural variation.

Jose Luis, here's what they look like in landscapes...

An old one, probably over 40 years and neck high on me. It does have some texture to the bark, but nothing like the Asian bonsai you and others have shown.



A young, knee high plant. They are slow growing and really don't need any pruning. The growth pattern and shape are very different from Buxus microphylla 'japonica' too.



The foliage that looks nothing like Buxus microphylla 'japonica'.



Do these look like what you see in Taiwan?

R

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the closeup photos I promised...

Post  jgeanangel on Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:50 pm

Better photos of the trunks of the same planting...its amazing what a difference a little natural light makes





Some other examples of the bark from my nursery...



Leaves from untouched nursery material...



and leaves after a couple of years of pruning...


I have no clue what the actual species of this boxwood is but, I am certain beyond a doubt that it is the same species as what is raised and sold in my area, and obviously other areas of the Southern US, as Harlandii.

Thanks,
John

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  JimLewis on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:11 pm

Interestingly, some of the leaves have the notch at the tip and others do not. But all seem to be longer and narrower than the typical microphylla.

TNX for splitting, Fiona.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Tue Oct 11, 2011 11:13 pm

And just for kicks, here's B. m. 'j'...


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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  fiona on Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:02 am

JimLewis wrote: TNX for splitting, Fiona.
Uh uh. John did it so the thanks go entirely to him and not me.


Last edited by fiona on Wed Oct 12, 2011 7:38 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  jrodriguez on Wed Oct 12, 2011 2:58 am

Russel,

Sorry for the late reply. I am suffering from a bad case of bacterial bronchitis, so bear with me.

From the pictures i see, this is an entirely different tree altogether. Leaves are distinctly larger in size and the bark is entirely different. All trees I saw in Taiwan were also shrubs and of a similar height and shape. In order to better illustrate the distinct differences I point out and once i feel better, I'll take a few pictures of one Buxus harlandii for further discussion. In the meantime, I feel like sh.......

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Ed Trout on Wed Oct 12, 2011 3:23 am


Very interesting thread ! Feel better Jose Luis....the suspense is killing me !!

Ed

Ps; I remember you being sick at our house many years ago !! Get well soon my friend !!

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Wed Oct 12, 2011 5:14 am

Thanks Jose Luis.

I hope you get to feeling better soon too. That's really interesting, I'm eager to see your pictures. I always wondered about those boxwood from Taiwan, Malaysia and Bali because they are so different from what we see here. The foliage on them reminds me more of B. sempervirens, but I know that one hates hot weather. They are grown and planted widely in the northern part of Alabama, but die here on the coast in a few years.

Take care of yourself!

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Buxus harlandii vs. microphylla

Post  bonsaisr on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:00 am

From the Plant List (definitive taxonomic database):
Buxus harlandii Hance is an accepted name
This name is the accepted name of a species in the genus Buxus (family Buxaceae).
Iris

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  Russell Coker on Fri Oct 14, 2011 3:02 am



I'm not sure I get the point of that Iris.

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  PkWk on Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:11 pm

Buxus Harlandii is common in Malaysia. It's a species has beautiful cork bark even when it's young. Need lot of maintenance, got to brush carefully with soft brush to remove dirt and algae. Its root often grow lifted up from the soil. Here are some of my Buxus H which are still in training.






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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

Post  jrodriguez on Mon Oct 17, 2011 6:23 pm

PkWk wrote:Buxus Harlandii is common in Malaysia. It's a species has beautiful cork bark even when it's young. Need lot of maintenance, got to brush carefully with soft brush to remove dirt and algae. Its root often grow lifted up from the soil. Here are some of my Buxus H which are still in training.






Russell,

I am glad that Mr. PkWk posted his trees. This is precisely what I know as Buxus harlandii. Even as young trees, the character of the cork bark is amazing. Also, the leaves are quite tiny, needing no leaf reduction techniques.

The other trees posted by John, tend to have large leaves and the bark characteristics are not compatible; they are very smooth. By no means am I implying that one is better than the other. Personal taste will always be a determining factor in that debate!!!

As far as growing conditions, this type of Boxwood really likes sun and humidity.

Kind regards,

Jose Luis

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Re: Buxus microphylla 'japonica' vs. Buxus harlandii

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