Redwood Database

An index of all Redwood cultivars both in and out of commercial production.

Sequoia sempervirens ‘Swarthmore Hardy’

Coast Redwood

‘Swarthmore Hardy’ is a cultivar that was selected prior to the year 2000 from a robust, dark-leaved coast redwood tree growing on the campus of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. This selection was made based on the inference that the parent tree exhibited greater cold hardiness compared to the typical Sequoia sempervirens, as noted by Auders and Spicer (2012) and Dirr (2009).

The distinct characteristic that set this particular tree apart was its dark green foliage, deviating from the lighter green hue commonly associated with the species. This foliar trait, combined with the tree’s vigorous growth and apparent tolerance for colder temperatures, prompted its selection and propagation as a cultivar.

By recognizing and propagating this variant, horticulturists aimed to introduce a potentially more cold-hardy form of the coast redwood, expanding its cultivation range beyond the species’ native coastal regions. The ‘Swarthmore Hardy’ cultivar may offer gardeners and landscapers in cooler climates the opportunity to grow this iconic conifer, provided it retains the enhanced cold tolerance exhibited by the parent tree.