Friday, March 23, 2012

The World of Cones

Saya and Harumi with a "Sugar Pine" cone, Pinus lambertiana

                                                       Within a cone's throw
                                                              in my garden I grow
                                                                      trees from the best corners of the world.

Walking through the nursery, and especially in our gardens with mature specimens, one can experience foreign lands in just a few steps. Quickly I see a Larix (Larch) from Europe, a Sciadopitys (Umbrella Pine) from Japan, a Sequoiadendron (Giant Redwood) from California, a Pinus (Pine) from China, an Abies (True Fir) from Spain and another from Mexico etc. I play the where's-it-from? game with my children, and they beam with pride when I frequently mention Japan. Last week's blog pitted Japan vs. California in the number of native conifer species, with California the winner. But in my nursery and gardens, I have more (total) plants that hail from Japan, with China probably at number two. I should clarify: the species are native to these various countries, but many cultivars perhaps originated in another country.

Today we'll take a world trip, zig-zagging across the globe, and we'll do it via coniferous cones--a cone trip. Somewhere I read about an Englishman from about 150 years ago, who was described as "eccentric" because he maintained a "conetum," a collection of cones instead of trees. I don't think he was barmy on the crumpet (out of orbit) at all, rather, I wish I could have met him and seen his collection, for I've done the same thing. Only my cones are still hanging from the trees, or have recently fallen to the ground. Here then is my "conetum."

Abies concolor from California to Colorado and NW Mexico

Abies delavayi from Yunnan, China to Burma to NE India

Abies nebrodensis from Sicily
Abies nordmanniana from Turkey

Abies koreana from Korea
Abies numidica from Algeria

Abies procera from Oregon, Washington

Abies squamata from China, Tibet

Abies spectabilis from Nepal, Tibet, Afghanistan

Athrotaxis laxifolia from Tasmania

Cunninghamia lanceolata from China

Chamaecyparis obtusa from Japan

Larix kaempferi from Japan

Picea abies from S Scandinavia to central and S Europe

Picea abies from S Scandinavia to central and S Europe

Picea glauca from S Canada and USA, from the Atlantic to the Pacific

Picea likiangensis from Yunnan, China

Picea likiangensis from Yunnan, China

Picea orientalis from S Russia to NE Turkey

Picea polita from Honshu, Shikoku and Kyushu, Japan

Picea pungens from Rocky Mountains from Wyoming to New Mexico

Picea smithiana from Afghanistan to China

Pinus coulteri from California

Pinus balfouriana from California

Pinus koraiensis from NE Asia

Pinus kwangtungensis from SE China

Pinus leucodermis from S Europe
Pinus longaeva from California

Pinus nigra from Austria

Pinus parviflora from Japan

Pinus sabiniana from California

Pinus wallichiana from Afghanistan to NE India, Bhutan

Pseudolarix amabilis from S China

Pseudolarix amabilis from S China

Pseudotsuga gaussenii from Anhui, Zhejiang, China

Pseudotsuga gaussenii from Anhui, Zhejiang, China

Pseudotsuga gaussenii from Anhui, Zhejiang, China

Pseudotsuga menziesii from W USA

Pseudotsuga japonica from Japan

Sciadopitys verticillata from Japan
Taxodium ascendens from E USA

Tsuga carolina from SW Virginia to NW Georgia

Cathaya argyrophylla from Guangxi and Sichuan, China

Our trip took us from the northern to the southern hemisphere, from deserts to temperate rain forests to the Himalayas. Hopefully I have left you in a good conedition.


  1. Beautiful and so artistic. Thank you for sharing.

  2. I have a big cone collection too

  3. I would love to have every single one of these! Every one is so unique and beautiful!
    Kindest regards,