Conifers Around the World

Feliratkozás Conifers Around the World hírcsatorna csatornájára
Frissítve: 11 perc 23 másodperc

Juniperus phoenicea - Phoenician Juniper

k, 07/10/2018 - 16:20

On continental Europe, this juniper reaches the westernmost stretches of the Mediterranean coast, in Portugal growing under the mild and rather wet atlanto-mediterranean climatic conditions while in the east of its range occurring in the dry coasts of Sinai and western Arabia.

This juniper is an easily recognized and common species of the Mediterranean maquis vegetation, often stunted and procumbent or prostrate as seen in the windy coasts; elsewhere it may grow into a well formed tree reaching 8-10 m and a trunk diameter of up to 1 m under good conditions. – On a recent trip to southwestern Portugal (the region of Porto Sta Maria), we studied and documented the low-growing stands of this juniper (shown in photographs below); none were higher than 1.5 m but usually much lower and often 4-5 m wide.

Also we found that practically all specimens were monoecious (though the species may be dioecious as well). We were also searching for the prostrate form we previously (1995) documented also in southwestern Portugal, near Praja Grande, and published in 1999; those plants had creeping lateral branches with adventitious roots (refer to Conifers Around the World, page 190 top detail photo).

Here around Porto Sta Maria we did not find this form even though there were many plants resembling to it. When digging in the sand it turned out that these low forms often have lateral branches somewhat similar to those of the prostrate form but in fact they are side branches buried by sand that have not developed adventitious roots.

Podocarpus salignus - Willow-Leaf Podocarp

k, 07/10/2018 - 13:25
Based on our field explorations in southern Chile, we found this species quite rare in natural habitats. One such location was Cerro Ñielol, a miraculously saved Valdivian type of laurel-leaved forest near the city of Temuco.   Although there was only one small tree we could find in the dense forest, it was fortunately a male specimen (see photo below) thus being a good addition to another tree (presumably a remnant of the natural vegetation) in the campus of the local university, which was a seed-bearing one (also pictured here). – We included a vegetation photo of Cerro Ñielol in Conifers Around the World (page 871). This protected area is dominated by two species of southern beech (Nothofagus alpina and N. obliqua), with associated plants including Aextoxicon punctatum, Caldcluvia paniculata, Cryptocarya alba, Eucryphia cordifolia, Laureliopsis philippiana, Lomatia dentata, Persea lingue, Peumus boldus, and Pseudopanax valdiviensis.   The only other gymnosperm we found on Cerro Ñielol was Prumnopitys andina, another subtropical podocarp – but this was a locally rather common plant elsewhere, like in the foothills of Volcán Llaima. – Podocarpus salignus is not at all a rare plant in temperate-subtropical living collections, exemplified by arboreta in the U.K., Ireland, the southern states of the U.S., or New Zealand, and many nurseries in mild-climate countries propagate it for landscaping purposes. One perfect specimen is shown here, photographed close to the famous "Sierra Redwood Avenue" in Benmore Botanic Garden, the beautiful living collection part of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, Scotland.

Pinus bhutanica - Bhutan White Pine kk

h, 07/02/2018 - 12:44

It took us 6 years to be able to arrange a conifer-focused botanical exploration in Tibet. With financial help from I.D.R.I. this visit was organized through cooperation with colleagues at the National Herbarium, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, from where 4 colleagues accompanied us with local guidance from the Tibetan Plateau Ecological Institute, Lhasa. During this memorable expedition we could document a total of 20 conifers. On a mostly clear day, August 9, 2001 we were on the Linzhi-Bomi road heading east to explore the Nychen Kangri area. As we passed the famous location outside Linzhi with giant trees of Cupressus gigantea (which we planned to see on the way back) we began to climb the Zhejila Mountain Range. Stop for Larix speciosadocumentation, later for Juniperus saltuaria and Abies fargesii.

After Lulan the Niyang river valley gets narrower and the endless mountain slopes clothed with thick coniferd-dominated forests could be more closely inspected. The elevation here is around 2500 m a.s.l. Let's have look at one of the pines that occupies the area (the other pine being Pinus densata)... A handsome specimen tree stands on a cliff above the river – though it is similar to Pinus wallichiana, this one has very fine pendent foliage and thin, pubescent, pruinose branchlets! A few minutes and we conclude – it must be Pinus bhutanica! It comes as a special gift for this trip! – Taking a series of photos, and (10 years passed) the species is now featured in Conifers Around the World, page 398. Some additional photos are included here from the Yi'ong-valley – one of the grandest conifer habitats we ever visited. The plant marked with an inscription in two photos below, has been observed at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh; interestingly, the foliage of this tree, an original introduction from Bhutan, has a somewhat silvery sheen while most specimens we have seen in Tibet were green.