Appreciation: Picea smithiana - Himalayan spruce

Discussion in 'Gymnosperms (incl. Conifers)' started by wcutler, Feb 19, 2021.

  1. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    If I'd realized we didn't have a photo of this Picea smithiana at VanDusen Botanical Garden, at the top of the Rhododendron path, I'd have taken another several dozen to get a few in focus. This is quite the tree. I don't even understand how I don't have other photos of it.
    Picea-smithiana-HimalayanSpruce_VanDusen_Cutler_20210219_141216.jpg Picea-smithiana-HimalayanSpruce_VanDusen_Cutler_20210219_141144.jpg Picea-smithiana-HimalayanSpruce_VanDusen_Cutler_20210219_140942.jpg Picea-smithiana-HimalayanSpruce_VanDusen_Cutler_20210219_141105.jpg Picea-smithiana-HimalayanSpruce_VanDusen_Cutler_20210219_140930.jpg
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2021
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  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    What's the source of this tree? The foliage looks OK, but the cones don't look typical - too long and slender, and the scales a bit small. If cultivated origin, I'd be wondering about a hybrid with Picea abies.
     
  3. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    How does it work - could it be P. smithiana with cones fertilized by a nearby P. abies?
    I clarified the location - VanDusen Botanical Garden.
     
  4. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  5. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I can't get much from that search page - most of what's shown are other species, or cones that have opened or Alamy photos. Here's a zoom on the tree photo, fwiw.
    ,
    Picea-smithiana-HimalayanSpruce_VanDusen_Cutler_20210219_141216c.jpg
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    So then look at the pictures that show smithiana - it seems to be typical nowadays that the top of a results page is on topic and then the rest of the pictures down the page aren't. Look at the pictures and click on them to see the pages they came from.
     
  7. wcutler

    wcutler Esteemed Contributor Forums Moderator VCBF Cherry Scout 10 Years

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    I did that. My top row shows two photos from Pinterest that point to a page that no longer exists, five from Alamy, and one that is something else. That's it. My second row shows almost all cones that are more open than the ones here, so I don't know how I can compare those on how slender they are. And on the one at Flora Wonder Blog: The World of Cones, I don't know how to judge the minimal differences. Those scales look more bulged or rounded. Is that significant? On the Picea smithiana / west Himalayan spruce | Conifer Species | American Conifer Society page, the cone photos are the same tree as the one I posted.

    Actually, I'm getting much better results on picea smithiana - Google Search, though the habit photos all look very different from each other. It's enough though to make me think of switching back to google.
    Here is a page with several cone photos: Picea smithiana – eFlora of India; cones mostly seem shorter, with an exception or two.
    Here is another page of habit photos, each one different from the others: Photos of Morinda spruces (Picea smithiana), MonumentalTrees.com. If trees can look that different, wouldn't cones look a little different?
    There are photos on this Species: smithiana (treelib.ca) page, with a cones in the tree photo from Kew (photo 5) that looks very similar to me to the cones in the next photo from the tree here (you can mouse over to see zoomed-in details).
     
  8. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    If the seed was grown from an older cultivated Picea smithiana, with the pollen that pollinated the seed coming from a Picea abies. If it is at Van Dusen, presumably there will be some accession data saying where the plant come from?

    Typical Picea smithiana cones; note stout (when open, the broadest of any spruce, and also the heaviest cones of any spruce) with large scales, but not especially long:

    Picture 026a.jpg
     
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  9. pierrot

    pierrot Active Member 10 Years

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    I have looked at my copy of the plant records from Vandusen and it states west Himalayas afghan to c . Nepal. Usually Vandusen has the annotation in the records "Garden origin" if they get the plant from a nursery

    if you ask Cynthia Sayer there at Vandusen she can look up the accession number :1984-0331

    and it should have notes on where it was obtained from
     
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  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    That is of course just a description of the species' native range as a whole; it doesn't say anything about this individual!
     
  11. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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  12. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Two possibilities, from what I can tell.

    In 1981, we received plants from UBC Buildings & Grounds, with no origin beyond that. That would have meant digging something up (in 1984) that had already been transplanted (as opposed to supplying them with seed-grown material that may have existed as pots in the nursery).

    More likely, though, in 1984 we received plants from BC Forest Services. These were from seed collected in Uttar Pradesh. I would guess some of these plants were then offered to VanDusen or UBC received these on behalf of both organizations and then sent some along.
     
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2021
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  13. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Thanks! If from Uttar Pradesh, then it should be genuine.
     

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