This new cultivar of the white Himalayan birch has lovely pure white bark, smooth and peeling dramatically from the trunk.
‘Snow Leopard’ is a clone from a lovely group of trees at Stone Lane Gardens, which were grown from seed collected by Oleg Polunin in the wild near Sonamarg in the Indian state of Jammu & Kashmir . An area known to be inhabited by the elusive Snow Leopard!
We decided to introduce this cultivar because so many of the Betula utilis ssp. jacquemontii cultivars avaialble from nurseries are of unknown origin. This is true B. utilis ssp. jacquemontii, whereas a large number of commercial varieties are hybrids. Although our group in the garden are somewhat stunted and bushy, when grafted onto a silver birch rootstock the cultivar produces a straighter, slightly more vigorous tree. We expect this charming tree to become very popular.
These ghostly white trees look very effective when planted against a dark background. For maximum appeal plant a group of 3 or 5 very close together to really show off the beautiful stems.
Eventual height: estimated at 8-12 metres. Moderately spreading crown.