Winter Bronze On Green Mountain Boxwood - February 2023


This is the second winter for this little, evergreen shrub.  Planted in the Fall of 2021, it has just hung out here, under the Oak Tree (tree swing tree) in the bed on the north side of the property.  Green Mountain is properly named: Buxus sempervirens 'Green Mountain'. And, based on this post where I tried to get smart on variety vs. cultivar vs. sport terminology, the single quotation marks are - what I thought the real tell was.  But, I'm not totally sure?  

Single quotes = cultivar, right?  But, I think the second word is NOT supposed to be capitalized?

Hinsdale Nursery calls it a cultivar.  So, let's go with that.   Green Mountain is a Boxwood cultivar.

And, this cultivar is pyramidal - which was why I was drawn to it and planted it as a single evergreen shrub in the bed.   It hasn't grown too terribly much in the past growing season, but it is still here.  

But, calling it an evergreen is a misnomer, right?  Look at that photo.  It is orange, isn't it?

Turns out, plantsmen call it "Bronzing".  

Where things get interesting?  There's a cultivar called Winter Gem Boxwood - that has this characteristic and calls it a feature.  They turn BRONZE during Winter by design.  From Plant Addicts:

The Winter Gem boxwood is aptly named. As popular and lovely as they may be, most boxwood shrubs have a habit of having their shiny green foliage turn to a shade of bronze and even brown, during harsh winter months.

Well, well, well.   What do you know:  I *have* Green Gem Boxwoods and planted them at the same time as this Green Mountain cultivar.    

This opens the whole set of questions:  were these properly labeled?  Do Green Mountain Boxwoods typically bronze out like this?  Could this been a Green Gem?  ahh!  Are my Green Gem's bronzing right now, too?  

First, let's answer the question if Green Mountain typically bronze.  It appears to be: no.  

Many varieties of boxwood retain their green color during the winter months; others will turn off-color. The degree of color change in some species will vary between winters. Some boxwoods that are prized for retaining their green color throughout most winters are 'Wintergreen', 'Green Velvet', 'Green Mountain', and 'Glencoe'.
Emphasis, mine. 

I feel like Marissa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny.


There's a very high likelihood that this is NOT a Green Mountain Boxwood.  

The next step: go look at the Green Gem and see what color those are.  

Off to the garden, I go. 
 

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