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 Les Clairières des Conifères © MNHN - S. Gerbault

Conifer Clearings

On the southeast edge of the Arboretum, opposite the Trianon estate, this sector of more than 10 ha contains a “systematic” collection of conifers: this means that the species are grouped by botanical affinities.

Here we find pines (more than 20 species), junipers (30 species and varieties), spruce (more than 30 species), deciduous confers, such as larches and bald cypresses, superb in autumn…and still more rarities.

Les Clairières des Conifères enneigées à l'Arboretum © MNHN
Les Clairières des Conifères enneigées à l'Arboretum © MNHN

All year long, the avenues that meander between the groups of trees display the evergreens’ variety of habits and colours, unfurling hues of green, grey and blue – their interest renewed in springtime, with tender young shoots contrasting by their bright colour on the darker foliage of the previous year, and the young pinecones presenting various tints from cream-coloured to pink and to violet.

Plantation conservatoire de jeunes Araucarias du Chili, Araucaria araucana, dans les Clairières des Conifères © MNHN - S. Gerbault

The conifers were planted beginning in the 1920s in this sector, which then constituted the conifer arboretum of the old Jussieu garden. Thus one may admire some beautiful, fully mature specimens such as an exceptional 20-metre high Cranston spruce.
Here the comparison between related species allows botanists to closely observe their differences and gardeners to pick out the ones whose appearance and behaviour are best adapted to their landscaping projects.

Les Clairières des Conifères avec, au centre, l'étroite silhouette d'un Épicéa de Serbie, Picea omorika, et à droite, une variété horticole de l’Épicéa commun, Picea abies 'Cranstonii' © MNHN - S. Gerbault