Need Information on Cone Maturation in the Cypress Family.

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by JoeySantore, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. JoeySantore

    JoeySantore Active Member

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    Does anybody know of any good resources - online or in the literature - that could provide me with information on various individual species reproductive habits, namely how long seed maturation takes and what time of year seed is usually mature by? I'm looking mainly at species in the cypress family but also species in Araucariaceae and a few in Pinaceae as well.

    I'm beginning to collect and distribute seed (for free, not for sale!) and knowing this information would extremely help, not to mention the fact that it is fascinating.

    Maturation seems to take some species between 6-8 months and other species as many as fourteen months. Any idea why this is? Please help...
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    As short as 4-5 months in some subarctic and high altitude Abies, Larix, and Picea, and up to 36 months in Pinus pinea ;-)

    Name the species you want details of, and I'll try and supply it. There's a list of maturation periods in the Conifers entry in the New RHS Dictionary of Gardening (Macmillan). But it can vary quite a bit depending on location, and year-to-year weather - earlier after a hot dry summer, later after a cool, wet summer.
     
  3. JoeySantore

    JoeySantore Active Member

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    Araucaria Bidwillii
    Cryptomeria Japonica
    Sequoia SEmpervirens (seems to drop seed in January, which is not usual it seems)
    Sequoiadendron Giganteum
    Calocedrus Decurrens
    ARaucaria Araucana (two year maturation period?)
    Cunninghamia Lanceolata
    Phyllocladus Trichomanoides
    Dacrydium Cupressinum
    Taxodium Sp.
    Pinus Coulteria
    General New-World Cypress Species (Tecate, Mcnab, Gowens, Bakerii, Etc.)

    Thanks very much again, M.

    -J
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Araucaria bidwillii - approx 16-18 months
    Cryptomeria japonica - 7-8 months (pollination Feb/Mar, cones ripe Oct)
    Sequoia sempervirens - 7-8 months (pollination Feb/Mar, cones ripe Oct)
    Sequoiadendron giganteum - probably about 18-19 months, but cones can remain green with good seed for a decade or more
    Calocedrus decurrens - 6 months (pollination Mar/Apr, cones ripe Sept-Oct)
    Araucaria araucana - 15 months (pollination late May-early June, cones ripe late Aug-early Sept a year on [N hemisphere months])
    Cunninghamia lanceolata - 7-8 months (pollination Feb/Mar, cones ripe Oct)
    Phyllocladus trichomanoides - not sure!
    Dacrydium cupressinum - not sure!
    Taxodium sp. - 7-8 months (pollination Feb/Mar, cones ripe Oct)
    Pinus coulteri - 18 months (pollination Apr, cones ripe Oct-Nov a year on)
    General New-World Cypress Species (Tecate, Mcnab, Gowens, Bakerii, Etc.) - about 20-24 months, but cones often remain closed with good seed for a decade or more. Cupressus nootkatensis is a little shorter, usually 16-18 months (as short as 12 months has been reported for planted trees on warmer sites than it is native to)

    With Cupressus and Sequoiadendron, it is so easy to collect older cones with good seed, and so hard to determine when a cone is fully ripe, that precise maturation times are not well researched.
     
  5. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Sequoiadendron giganteum . . .
    Bottom right: 1-year old cone - smaller (but not much smaller) and yellowish;
    Bottom left: 2-year old cone - full size, dark green;
    Centre: two 4-year old cones - same size, slightly darker green;
    Top left: 11-year old cone (measured by whorl count on the branch and ring count on the cut branch) - same size, even darker green, fine bract scale tips eroded off with age.
     

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