Plant of the Month – December
Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’
This is one of several conifers that change colour in winter. Some turn deeper shades, and are often duller, but Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’ is one of many selections of the Mountain Pine, whose green summer needles transform over a few weeks to a bright gold, particularly if in a sunny position.
Period of interest
Year round but particularly in winter
Pinus mugo ‘Carsten’ (syn. ‘Carsten’s Wintergold’) is a slow growing dwarf pine of rounded habit, eventually more spreading, its short needles turning a deep almost orange gold over winter, then gradually back to green in spring.
Easily grown on all soils except those that are badly drained,, P.m. ‘Carsten’ can be expected to grow 45-60cm. high by 60-90cm. across in ten years. Plant it or other P.m. forms such as P.m. ‘Wintergold’, P.m. ‘Ophir’ or P.m. ‘December Gold’ with small winter flowering bulbs such as Chionodoxa lucillae or Galanthus (snowdrop), or surrounded by contrasting foliage plants such as Festuca glauca or Ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’.