Wednesday, December 12, 2007

ABC Wednesday – U

Emerging leaves of Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila)

ABC Wednesday – U

My original idea was to use Umbrella Pine as my ‘U’ post. I just didn’t execute the pictures very well so I went with Plan B which are these pictures of Ulmus leaves that I took this spring in Santa Fe. I think they are Siberian Elm (Ulmus pumila) leaves and the second picture shows the flowers. I am going to have to not recommend this tree after some research. Apparently it is very invasive and some communities, including Santa Fe, have banned its planting. Its wind borne seed takes over pastures, gardens, railroad right of ways, and just about anywhere else it lands. The rapid growth rate and a resistance to both drought and heat make it easy for the tree to become established. Come to think of it these pictures were shot in the parking lot of the Guadalupe CafĂ© (a great Santa Fe restaurant). Plant guru Michael Dirr (he is like a demigod to people like me) said of the Siberian Elm “"one of, if not the, world's worst trees...a poor ornamental”, and that is good enough to me.



Here are a couple shots of the original subject I had mind, the Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata). Too bad the close-ups didn’t come out. I just couldn’t manage the depth of field on the needles (they are actually cladodes, not needles) that were pointing towards me. It is an interesting tree and a bit of a botanical oddball. I learned a few new things about this tree when I looked it up. First was the correct pronunciation, sigh-uh-DOP-ih-tiss ver-ti-si-LAH-tuh. I already knew that it wasn’t a true Pine but didn’t know that it is considered different from almost all other conifers and fossil records for it date back over 200 million years. That makes it a living fossil. I didn’t know that were different selections available. The tree these pictures are from is about 8-9 feet tall and it has planted for about 18 years. It was about 4 feet tall when I bought it so I am thinking this might be the slower growing ‘Jim Cross’ cultivar. Here is a link with some more information:
hort.uconn


I am going to have to do a whole post on this tree sometimes now that interest in piqued. The cone is the first one I have ever seen on any of the Umbrella Pines that I have grown. Kind of weird looking.


Just for fun here is a double ‘U’ picture. The United States flag and a vessel that is underway. The Nautical Dictionary defines underway as: a vessel that is neither anchored nor moored to a fixed object or aground. I am not sure of which of the Bridgeport & Port Jefferson Steamboat Company’s boats this was on. It is leaving Bridgeport, Connecticut for the 75-minute ride to Port Jefferson, New York on Long Island.


ABC Blogroll

15 comments:

Ackworth Born said...

great post
It is the leylandiai tree that is taking over hereabouts.

Jim Baker said...

hey hey...

i shot some macros of a christmas flower basket last night... along with my U post... i can't believe I didn't think of UNITED states...

what kind of camera are you using for your flower shots?

jim baker

mrsnesbitt said...

Funny how we set out with an idea and it changes into another!

Great pictures.
Dx

hpy said...

I didn't know that the elm is invasive, but maybe it is some places where it is not really supposed to grow.

kml said...

I'm glad you showed your pine photos - the cones are really different from any I have seen.

The Oswegan said...

Interesting, I don't think I've ever seen one of those before.

I like your butterfly pic too.

~Oswegan

bonnie said...

Wonderful photos. So pretty,even the BAD plants. The cones are UGLY though, oh another "U" word.

Lilli & Nevada said...

great photos for U day

Neva said...

very good "U"!

Lara said...

beautiful macros!

Jenny said...

Oh wow thats a weird looking pinecone. xD AWesome.

Jean M Fogle said...

I always love coming to see your pictures, I love elms when they unfold in spring, maybe next year I will do a hort blog instead of just dogs!

Peter M said...

Very unusual looking plants but nice all the same

Andrea said...

Very good "U" post.

And thanks for your comment on my blog today.

Vanillalotus said...

Wow the leaves on that elm are so interesting. I have never seen anything like that. I have a little hillier elm bonsai and I just love the shape of the leaves.