Thursday, June 23, 2011

Pinus pseudostrobus var. apulcensis - False White Pine

Pinus pseudostrobus var. apulcensis: Pinus is the Latin name for P. pinea; pseudostrobus for its similarity to P. strobus; apulcensis, meaning 'from Apulco,' where it was first collected.

Also known as P. oaxacana.

Elegant tree 40-50 meters tall with a round to cylindrical dome. Numerous thin, gently rising branches are clothed with drooping foliage at the tips.

Dark yellow-green to bright green to glaucous blue-green needles are 20-40cm long and bundled in fascicles of 4 or 5.

Seed cones are 10-15 cm long. Seed scales have a long, up-turned claw-like umbo sometimes tipped with a small, fragile prickle.
Note the long (20-30mm) sheaths binding the needles in fascicles.

Smooth gray to reddish brown bark becomes platy with maturity.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Pinus contorta ssp. bolanderi - Bolander Pine

Pinus contorta ssp. bolanderi: Pinus is the Latin name for P. pinea; contorta or 'twisted,' referring to the species' twisted needles; bolanderi, named after Henry Nicholas Bolander (1831-1897), a collector of plants in Yosemite National Park and California State Botanist in 1864.

This subspecies is endemic to the Pygmy Forest in Mendocino Co., California where there are coastal terrace soils with claypan or hardpan. It is closely related to P. contorta contorta and P. contorta murrayana.

Bolander pine often grows in thickets of cane-like trees that, although very small, are biologically mature and bear fertile cones.

Needles 1.25-2" long, 2 per fascicle, often twisted.

Reddish immature cones.

Asymmetric seed cones ~3 inches long remain closed on the stem for many years.

Scaly grey bark.