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Results tagged “aceraceae”

Oct 30, 2013: Acer palmatum

During Monday's class with the students in the Horticulture Training Program, we visited the Nitobe Memorial Garden. Although I primarily teach the introductory plant sciences course, I also find the time to explain the history of the Garden and its components. Today's photographs are both cropped versions from the same source image, which was composed quickly and taken handheld after the tour was completed.

Acer palmatum, or Japanese maple, is native to both Japan and South Korea. The plant in today's photograph is possibly a cultivar, but if it is, that information has been seemingly lost sometime during the past five decades. Like many Japanese species, it was first described and published scientifically by Carl Peter Thunberg, a Swedish botanist who visited Japan for a span of 14 months in 1775-1776. It should be noted that Thunberg didn't have the luxury of traveling the countryside to botanize (due to restrictions on movements of foreigners in Japan), so his collections were limited to areas that typically had some measure of cultivation. Indeed, he published many species with the specific epithet japonica, though they were actually of Chinese origin and introduced in Japan. A search on the International Plant Names Index shows over 4700 records of species named by Thunberg, but there is some duplication of names; perhaps the true number is around 2000.

Read more about Japanese maples in gardening situations via the Royal Horticultural Society: Acer palmatum, a factsheet from North Carolina State University: Acer palmatum, and Missouri Botanical Garden: Acer palmatum.

Botany resource link: in case there isn't a BPotD entry published tomorrow for Hallowe'en, Spooky Orchids via the North American Orchid Conservation Center displays thirteen North American native orchid species with an accompanying blurb.

Feb 17, 2012: Forest in New Brunswick

Forest in New Brunswick

This photograph is from two autumns ago, when it was a later-than-usual year for autumn colours in eastern North America. Fortunately, one small stretch of Highway 215 near the New Brunswick-Qu├ębec border was nearing peak in late September, though I only discovered it on my last day in the area. It's not really a "Natural Landscape" (how I've categorized it), as the shrubs and herbaceous plants in the foreground are trimmed low from time to time (they are along the roadside). It's not really an intentional cultivated landscape, though.

Feb 15, 2012: Acer palmatum var. dissectum [Dissectum Viride Group]

Acer palmatum var. dissectum [Dissectum Viride Group]

This image from last autumn (late October) was taken in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden here at UBC. Since no cultivar name is specifically assigned for this plant, it suggests that it is either an unidentified cultivated variety or grown as a seedling (and therefore would not be the same as its parent, even if its parent was a named cultivar). The peculiar notation, "[Dissectum Viride Group]", adds some information, indicating that this plant belongs to a Group of dissected-leaf Japanese maples from cultivation.

Missouri Botanical Garden has a gardening factsheet available: Acer palmatum var. dissectum [Dissectum Viride Group].

I used a different piece of software for processing this photograph--a program that merges two (or more) photographs taken at different planes of focus. It looks like I'll have to play with some of the settings, as the photograph appears a bit too saturated.

Nov 2, 2011: David C. Lam Asian Garden

David C. Lam Asian Garden

The intense low sun of a late autumn afternoon in combination with a breeze off the Salish Sea helped to produce this image a couple days ago in the David C. Lam Asian Garden.

While taking the photograph, I was only reacting to the sights and experiences of bright leaves and moving branches. In the back of my mind, I would have had some familiarity with similar techniques or approaches used by other photographers under the same conditions. However, thinking about the photograph a bit more, it could also complement a number of stories about the David C. Lam Asian Garden:

  • - the combination of coastal woodland plants (represented by the Douglas-fir) and cultivated plants of Asian origin (the Japanese maples in the background)
  • - along the same lines, one could also interpret that the solidity of the Douglas-fir represents what was here and what will be here in this place (it is timeless), whereas the maples are fleeting and less solid, less permanent
  • - the maples remind of flames, an allusion to the fire that threatened the Asian Garden earlier this year
  • - the charred scars of stumps and trunks of the few remaining original-growth native trees in the Asian Garden speak to the burning of the site in the early 20th century after it had been effectively clearcut -- had colour film existed then, it is not difficult to imagine a similar photograph being taken a century ago, but with real flames

Oct 27, 2011: E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden

E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden

A photograph from early this morning in the E.H. Lohbrunner Alpine Garden here at UBC. I'm making a bit of an effort to photograph anything red in relation to plants at the moment. This is in preparation for an early December presentation I'll be giving entitled "Red Reverie", in which I'll be discussing the colour red in plants, on topics ranging from food plant pigments to leaf colours, from attracting pollinators to preventing herbivory. Busy again today with meetings, but thought I'd sneak in a quick image for BPotD. For local readers of BPotD, autumn colours will continue to persist through this weekend, particularly in the Alpine Garden and the Carolinian Forest.

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