E. macropterus, is native to eastern Asia and came to Mustila from Sakhalin Island. It differs from the other spindle species at the Arboretum in its strong branches, large buds, and particularly large fruits. The first bright green shoots appear early in spring. The dangling seed cases which develop in late summer open lantern-like or propeller-shaped to release the orange-coated seeds.
This is definitely one of the most attractive species of the Vitis genus. It is a deciduous vine whose beautifully veined leaves can grow to 30 cms in good conditions. It climbs using tendrils, and once it has settled in place grows rapidly. In autumn the leaves are aglow with shades of orange, red and yellow.
Mongolian oak (Q. mongolica) grows over a large range throughout East Asia and several subspecies and forms have been described, some of them even awarded the status of separate species. The most successful of these in Finland has been the maritime Japanese subspecies called mizu-nara (Q. mongolica subsp. crispula) because it is hardier in the Finnish type of climate, which is unsettled and changeable. The northern provenances from Hokkaido and Sakhalin Island are also hardy to severe frosts.
Sargent’s cherry is a small to mid-sized tree usually of regular shape, which flowers early when other trees are just awakening to spring. In flower, it is the princess of any garden or park, totally smothered in large rose-red cherry blossom. The effect is emphasised by its brevity – flowering lasts only for about a week.
This species is one of the most beautiful of the poplars. Its large thick round leaves form attractive layers along the wide-spreading branches, their pale undersides as if illuminating the shade of the tree. The catkins of female trees can be up to 20cms long. Leaves in their autumn colours could be used for their decorative qualities in wreaths and bouquets.
The Japanese whitebark magnolia is one of the most tropical-looking tree species which can be grown in Finland. It has the northernmost range of any of the magnolias, growing naturally as far north as the Kuriles and Sakhalin Island.
The Kobus magnolia has been an important tree to Japanese farmers throughout history. When the mountain magnolias turned into a sea of white flowers the farmers knew the time was ripe for spring sowing.
Kobus magnolia is found throughout the whole of Japan excepting the northernmost parts of Hokkaido. The species was first brought to Europe in the late 1770s and became very popular due to its winter hardiness and early, brilliant flowering.
The Japanese ash is a form of Manchurian ash growing naturally on the northern Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido, as well as on Sakhalin Island. On the cool mountain slopes it tends to concentrate in moist sites at the edges of mires or along rivers, with conifer forest dominating drier sites. Highly valued for the attractive patterning of its timber, the Japanese ash has become rather rare in the wild because of over-exploitation.
The hemlock (Tsuga) genus gets its scientific name from the Japanese word tsuga. The northern Japanese hemlock is one of the two hemlock species native to Japan, and its natural habitat is the mountains of Honshu Island between 900-2200 metres, approaching the tree line. On the best sites it reaches heights of 25 metres but higher up the slopes remains a low shrub. Compared with other hemlocks the crown is exceptionally dense and broad, reminiscent of broadleaf trees. On their undersides the needles are strongly silver-white, of varying length, broad and notched at the tip.