Hardy Exotic Trees

We have established specimens of most of these trees, which really need to be seen to appreciate their beauty. If you have space to grow them I would urge you to start out as soon as possible, as many take years to flower. 

Abies balsamea

Balsam Fir - Christmas Tree 15 seeds җ җ җ
Abies balsamea is a handsome fir that likes abundant moisture, eventually growing to 50ft in a narrow pyramid. Dark green needles typical of the Abies family with 2-4 inches long dark purple fir cones. Fully hardy but slow growing in the initial seedling years. Part of our "Exotic Christmas Tree" seed range.

Abies concolor

White Fir - Christmas Tree 15 seeds җ җ җ
Abies concolor or White Fir is widely planted as an ornamental tree in large parks with its glaucus foliage often showing quite strong blue hues.  The foliage has an attractive scent, and is used for Christmas decoration, including Christmas trees. The long needles are displayed in a curving upward fashion along the branches and a blue clone I have in our arboretum is one of my favourite firs with its light blue soft spring foliage. Part of our "Exotic Christmas Tree" seed range.

Abies Koreana

Korean Fir 10 seeds җ җ җ
Abies Koreana is a lovely small hardy garden conifer with deep green needles, silver-white underneath. The purple cones, which sit bolt upright on the branches, are the tree's most attractive features and give an excellent display for 9 months of the year.

Abies nordmanniana

Nordmann Fir - Christmas Tree 15 seeds җ җ җ
This handsome large fir is native to the mountains south and east of the Black Sea, in Turkey, Georgia, Russian Caucasus and northern parts of Armenia. Abies nordmanniana is a large evergreen coniferous tree growing to 180ft tall and with a trunk diameter of up to 6ft. Some specimens have been reported to be 250ft tall, the tallest trees in Europe. This is the "non drop needle" Christmas tree variety increasingly common for sale at Christmas but rarely pot grown. I have several of these trees now at 6ft height grown from seed and kept in pots for Christmas but they require regular feed and water if maintained as a pot-grown specimen. Part of our "Exotic Christmas Tree" seed range.

Abutilon suntense

Hardy Abutilon Pkt җ җ җ
Abutilon Suntense is a hybrid of white flowered Abutilon vitifolium and the smaller mauve flowered Abutilon ochsenii from south America and the resulting cross has proved slightly hardier than Vitifolium.  The large, pale mauve or deep mauve flowers with a golden centre are up to 3” across and carried in bunches all over the tree in late spring.

Acer davidii

Snakebark Maple 15 seeds җ җ җ
Acer davidii is a multi-trunked deciduous tree with green and white bark and arching branches with mid green leaves that turn orange/yellow in autumn, bearing pale yellow flowers in spring and pink to brown fruits in the autumn. Attractive striped bark that shows up well in winter.

Acer griseum


Paperbark Maple 15 seeds җ җ җ

Acer griseum is a beautiful small Acer tree with stunning autumn colours and a rich peeling cinnamon coloured bark. It is however not easy to grow from seed and some patience is required pre stratifying the hard seeds.

Acer rubrum

Red Maple 15 seeds җ җ җ
A North American timber tree with spectacular autumn colours in good years. Acer rubrum is a medium height handsome tree with large lobed deep green leaves that change dramatically as the temperature drops in late autumn. The most impressive autumn colour in our arboretum when it looks simply on fire. These seeds have been selected from trees with the best autumn foliage colour.

Ailanthus altissima

Tree of Heaven Pkt җ җ
A fast growing tree included because of its potential for pollarding in spring. This forces spectacular fast growth with large pinnate leaves for an excellent show of summer foliage. It appears to germinate readily from seed, but subsequent growth is slower than the Paulownia, included in this section for the same purpose. Beware though Ailanthus altissima has a strong suckering habit and is considered a problem in warmer climates.

Albizia julibrissin rosea

Silk Tree 10 seeds җ җ
Albizia julibrissin rosea is a marginally hardy tree outside of a microclimate, but with beautiful sprays of cloud pink flowers on soft downy foliage. Sadly not hardy enough for me but I have seen many fine specimens in greater London. A small tree with a spreading delicate habit.

Araucaria araucana


Monkey Puzzle Tree 5 seeds җ җ җ

Araucaria araucana or Monkey Puzzle Tree is a popular tree planted in many gardens early last century. The scale-like leaves are dark green, stiff, sharp-pointed and densely arranged on upwardly-sweeping branches, looking more reptilian than coniferous in character. The species is estimated to be around 60 million years old, based upon fossil records known today. Trees take 50 years to mature and produce the nuts, which are edible.

Arbutus unedo


Strawberry Tree Pkt җ җ

Arbutus unedo - a small evergreen tree seen in Portugal and North America, with attractive peeling red brown bark which will tolerate a slightly alkaline soil. Excellent for a woodland garden with small white flowers followed by the 3 cm strawberry looking fruits.  Because of the high sugar content the Portuguese make an excellent fermented liqueur called Medronho - a particular favourite of mine! The picture is one from our own tree showing both fruits and flowers at Christmas.

Asimina triloba

Hardy PawPaw 5 large seeds җ җ җ
This decorative small tree with clusters of purple flowers in the spring, has large tropical looking leaves and grows to about 10' tall. It is native and well known in much of the eastern United States. It produces dark green oblong fruit 3 to 6 inches long with a pulp that tastes like vanilla custard. Harvest when fruit color turns from green to yellow. Take out your spoon and eat. It’s delicious. The pulp has big seeds that are easy to spoon out and discard or plant to grow additional trees. The tree has a tap root and grows slowly at first hardy to around -15°C They grow naturally as an understory tree but can grow in full sun. Fruit ripens in late September and October.

Asimina triloba was a favourite of the early settlers to supplement their food shortage and has enough importance to warrant a folk song about the tree. A well known ditty  called "Way down yonder in the Paw Paw Patch" If you are sad enough like me and would like to here the song click please here.

Caesalpinia gilliesii

Bird of paradise shrub (loved by humming birds) (10 seeds Pr Pkt) җ җ
Caesalpinia gilliesii is a superb hardy tropical tree, easy from seed that prefers dry conditions. The more common Pride of Barbados is far too soft to grow in the UK under glass although the spectacular flowers make you want to keep trying. This one has flowers not so vivid in colour as pulcherrima but none the less really tropical looking and carried on attractive ferny foliage. Has to be one to try outside in a sheltered hot dry position and if the wood is ripened well enough in summer it should withstand up to -12°C.

Catalpa bignonioides

Indian Bean Tree 10 seeds җ җ җ
A superb hardy tropical looking tree, easy from seed that produces horse chestnut like flowers in late summer, followed by long beans in warmer areas. The leaves are large, pale green and the tree can be used for coppicing to produce an even more dramatic effect. Catalpa bignonioides is a desirable plant with its late flowering habit (Jul/Aug).

Catalpa bungei


Beijing Catalpa 10 seeds җ җ җ

Catalpa bungei is a slightly smaller tree than bignonioides from northern China, but just as hardy with the added attraction that the flowers are a delicate pink. Large heart shaped green leaves for tropical effect.

Cercis siliquastrum

Judas Tree 20 seeds җ җ җ
Cercis siliquastrum - a small spreading tree with kidney-shaped, blue-green leaves, turning yellow in autumn. In spring the tree bears masses of small but pretty magenta pink flowers all over the stems and trunk followed by striking pea type pods in a good season.

Cercis siliquastrum album

White Judas Tree 20 seeds җ җ җ
A lovely form of Cercis siliquastrum with pure white flowers in profusion in spring. A small spreading tree with kidney-shaped, blue-green leaves, turning yellow in autumn. In spring the tree bears masses of small but pretty white flowers all over the stems and trunk followed by striking pea type pods in a good season.

Christmas Tree Seed Collection

Mixed Christmas Tree Seeds 60 seeds (10 seeds each of 6 varieties)  җ җ җ
JungleSeeds exotic mixed packet of 6 hardy fir tree seeds all of which will make a handsome small tree in a pot or field grown for later harvesting and easy from seed. Balsam fir, White fir, Nordmann fir, Douglas fir, Californian Redwood and Giant Sequoia.

Cladrastis lutea


Kentucky Yellow Wood 10 seeds җ җ җ

A handsome but rare medium sized tree (10m) from southern USA producing panicles of fragrant white wisteria-like flowers in June. Leaves turn clear yellow in autumn. Hardy in the UK down to -20C

Cupressus sempervirens Stricta


Italian Cypress Tree 10 seeds җ җ 

A fantastic architectural tree if you look after them properly. To keep the classic pencil shape they do need regular pruning especially when young removing any straggling growth. Mostly hardy but extreme cold may damage young plants and the do prefer a well drained soil. Fairly easy from seed.

Cyphomandra corymbiflora


Limited supply!

Hardy Tree Tomato 6 seeds җ җ

Cyphomandra corymbiflora is a rare tree tomato from the Andes Mountains that is frost hardy to about -10°C.Large evergreen soft leaves typical of the tree tomato family with small edible 4cm to 5cm fruits. An interesting flavour to mix in a smoothie but a bit strong to eat raw and full of seeds but great as an ornamental. The flowers start out as blue/white stars turning lilac with age in large clusters adding to the attraction of this sub tropical small tree.or large shrub. 

Ginko biloba

Maidenhair Tree 5 large seeds җ җ җ
Ginkgo Biloba is one of the oldest living tree species, dating back over 300 million years. Individual trees can live for over 1,000 years. Ginkgo Biloba also produces the best selling herbal product in the world. Called the Maidenhair Tree because its leaves closely resemble those of the Maidenhair Fern, the tree was discovered in China and has unusual shaped lime green leaves. For nearly 2800 years the Chinese have used extracts from the ginkgo biloba tree to treat a variety of conditions;can they be that wrong? Not easy to grow though (or perhaps it’s just me!), as I have found out over the years. A challenge for the enthusiasts among you?

Hovenia dulcis

Japanese Raisin Tree 10 seeds җ җ
Hovenia dulcis is an unusual fast growing tree that produces small raisin like fruit from the trunk. The Raisin Tree native to China is deciduous growing to around 30ft with a single trunk and a rounded head. They have large somewhat limp glossy green, 7" leaves . The flowers are small but are clustered together in great masses and are cream in colour.

The fleshy thickened fruit stalks, when dried, have the sweet flavour and texture of raisins and can be used in the same way. They have a pear-like flavour when ripe, which is when they fall to the ground. They may be small in size but are usually in copious amounts. The other beauty of these fruits is that you don't need to dry them.The brown pod which is actually the fruit is not used.

Koelreuteria paniculata

Golden Rain Tree 10 seeds  җ җ җ
Koelreuteria paniculata is a lovely tree with its beautiful dark green fine foliage and foot-long, golden cascades of flowers in July. The seeds dry into interestingly shaped “pods” that resemble Japanese lanterns. This hardy tree grows 30-40 feet tall and makes an excellent small shade tree. Prefers full to partial sun, drought tolerant and grows well in most soil conditions. The Golden Raintree also has orange-yellow colour in the autumn.

Laburnum anagyroides


New for 2022!

Common Laburnum 20 seeds җ җ җ

The beautiful Laburnum tree is well known for producing long racemes of beautiful yellow flowers in early summer followed by pods full of black seeds which are poisonous. It is a small deciduous, fast growing tree producing masses of drooping yellow flowers in May and June in a spectacular display. Be warned all parts of this plant are poisonous if eaten especially the seeds so some care as to position is needed.

Liriodendron tulipifera

Tulip Tree 20 seeds җ җ җ
Liriodendron tulipifera is a tall tree with unusual tulip like flowers with greenish-yellow petals blushed with orange on the inside. Because they generally are found high in the leaf canopy, the flowers often go unnoticed until they drop off after pollination. The large leaves of this tree are also quite distinct, with a large, v-shaped notch at the tip. I have a beautiful variegated leaf specimen of this tree always admired by visitors. Poor seed germination rate but worth a try

Maackia amurensis


Amur maackia 10 seeds җ җ

Maackia amurensis is a rare and handsome plant native to Northern China and Korea with new leaves in spring a beautiful ghostly, silver-blue in colour aging to green.  It also has delightful upright panicles of creamy-white, slightly fragrant flowers in midsummer. An unusual and lovely garden tree.

Maclura pomifera


Osage Orange 10 seeds җ җ җ

A small North American tree from the Moraceae family with thorny branches bearing strange wrinkly inedible round fruits looking a bit like a citrus fruit. Fully hardy in the UK it is useful as a hedging tree due to its suckering habit. An unusual and interesting wind break?

Magnolia grandiflora

Southern Magnolia 10 seeds җ җ
A beautiful tree with large dark green glossy leaves, best planted in a warm sheltered position against a wall in neutral to acid soil. Magnolia grandiflora is often used as an ornamental because of its huge creamy white showy flowers that contrast so well with the glossy foliage. This will take a few years to flower from seed but well worth the wait.

Paulownia tomentosa

Princess Tree Pkt җ җ
Paulownia tomentosa is one of my favourites that I have been growing for many years. Unfortunately in Oxfordshire, without a micro climate protection,  late spring frosts prevent it from flowering. The flower buds are formed in the autumn and stay dormant on the plant until early spring, but easily destroyed by heavy frosts. If you can provide a position for it to flower, for example most areas in London would be suitable, it would then produce lovely large purple, upright, wisteria/lilac type flowers with a delicate fragrance. The alternative use as shown in my photograph is to pollard the main trunk down to 12" every year, allowing it to  subsequently throw one or two strong shoots. On an established 3 to 4 year or older tree, these can reach 14' in a single summer from a spring pruning with huge 2' to 3' leaves - a stunning display! Easily grown from seed but the young plants will not take beyond minus 10°C, so provide some care and protection in the first few years.

Pseudotsuga menziesii

Douglas Fir - Christmas Tree 15 seeds җ җ җ
Pseudotsuga menziesii the Douglas-fir, also called Red-fir, Oregon-pine or Douglas-spruce, is one of the world's most important and valuable timber trees. Not a true fir but it looks very similar and is extremely fast growing. Seedlings will attain 12" to 18" from an early sowing in the first year and once the tree matures after 8 to 10 years, they put on top growth of anything up to 6ft a year. My own trees are growing at a terrific rate after 10 years from seed and now reach 20 to 30ft tall and quite wide. A good choice for a fast growing fir tree but please plant it where it will have space to flourish, without being a menace, or keep it pot grown. Part of our "Exotic Christmas Tree" seed range.

Rhus typhina

Stag's-horn Sumach 20 Seeds  җ җ җ
Rhus typhina  is a deciduous spreading and suckering open shrub fully hardy with velvety shoots and large ash like foliage that turns brilliant red in the autumn. Exotic looking leaves and unusual clusters of red fruit clusters makes an exotic looking shrub.

Robinia pseudoacacia

Black Locust 20 seeds җ җ җ
A North American deciduous tree the Robinia pseudoacacia or commonly known as black locust, grows well in our British climate and was introduced to Europe in 1601. The tree has pale green lush foliage turning a good yellow in autumn. In June it supports large pendulous bunches of pea like fragrant white flowers attractive to bees.

Sequoia sempervirens

Californian Redwood 15 seeds җ җ
Sequoia sempervirens is a native from just one area of our planet- a 450-mile strip along the Pacific Coast of North America. The trees prosper in this mild climate zone, where winter rains and summer fog provide an even temperature and a high level of year-round moisture. The trees inhabit sheltered, well-watered places of rich soil as far inland from the Pacific Ocean as the fog drift, seldom more than 20 miles and up the coastal mountainsides to about 2,000 feet elevation. The oldest verified redwood tree is at least 2,200 years of age, but many believe that some may be much older. The coast redwoods are the tallest living species on Earth. Often they can reach heights of 300-350 feet and diameters of 16-18 feet. More than a dozen trees exceeding 360 feet in height are now growing along the California coast. This is a fast growing tree and easy from seed. One of my own seedlings now stands at 30ft after 10 years but does like water and does not like the late spring frosts. Makes an attractive small tree in pots and is also part of our "Exotic Christmas Tree" seed range.

Sequoiadendron giganteum

Giant Sequoia 15 seeds җ җ
Sequoiadendron the only close relative to the Redwood, contains a single species from the Sierra Nevada Mountains of eastern California. This single species is a giant among trees and is considered by many the most massive living organism. Although not the tallest tree in North America, it comes very close. The largest individual Giant Sequoia is the General Sherman tree. The General Sherman tree has a height of 250 feet and a diameter near the base of 24.75 feet. The total volume of the tree is 13,260 cubic feet. The trunk of the General Sherman tree weighs almost 1400 tons. By comparison this is equivalent to 15 adult blue whales or 10 train locomotives. A handsome hardy fir tree easy to grow from seed with red bark and even young trees gain large trunks quite quickly. My own tree from seed has a girth diameter of 3ft in 10 years at the base and stands about 25ft tall. Part of our "Exotic Christmas Tree" seed range and worth trying as a pot plant in its early years.

Toona sinensis


Chinese Mahogany 10 seeds җ җ җ

This native of China and much of Asia is as useful as it is beautiful. The red spring leaves of the Chinese mahogany are attractive to look at and tasty to eat, while its timber is used to make high quality furniture. The young leaves are used as a vegetable in China, and taste similar to onion. The flavour of the younger, redder leaves is said to be better than those which have turned green although both are regularly used in stir fry meals and salads. Fully grown leaves are a deep green and are 30-60cm long with 10-24 leaflets arranged in pairs either side of the central stalk. In autumn, the leaves fade to gold before being shed for winter. As well as its attractive foliage Toona sinensis also produces sweetly-scented flowers in July. Cream in colour, they hang in pendulous clusters and are pollinated by insects. I have an established small tree in my own garden grown from seed a few years ago, just be careful of late spring frosts.



Symbol Codes

Germination -- Easy Moderate and Challenging

Backlog for Fresh Seed Flavour

Hardiness - To -5°C җ To -10°C җҗ Fully Hardy җҗҗ

Needs Shady Position Sunny Position Water Loving