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Results tagged “rosaceae”

Oct 17, 2014: Malus 'Belle de Boskoop'

Malus 'Belle de Boskoop'

It's that time of year again--UBC Botanical Garden is hosting its annual Apple Festival this weekend. Like most previous years on BPotD, we're highlighting one of the 70+ apple cultivars available for sale (more for tasting and viewing). This year's image is similar, but different, to the one that Taisha did last year of Malus 'Okana'. Other previous entries: 'Rubinette', 'Creston', SPA493 (now known under the trade name Salish, one of my favourites), 'Cox's Orange Pippin', 'Golden Russet', 'Melrose', 'Elstar', and 'Jonagold'.

'Belle de Boskoop' has been in cultivation for over 150 years, originating as a chance seedling in or near the horticulturally-famous Boskoop, a town in The Netherlands. I don't have any personal experience with this cultivar, other than tasting it today. I would like to say it is "out of this world" given the concept behind today's image, but though I liked the acidity of the apple, the texture was a bit soft for me. From what sources suggest online, the edibility improves over time--time which one has, as it keeps for up to 6 months, with the flavour improving as it ages. My understanding from speaking with some of the Friends of the Garden is that it is also a very popular seller to people who grew up in northern Europe (in fact, one Danish commenter on another site mentions, "This is not considered an eating apple, but THE cooking apple for much of northern continental europe." Read a review, plus this comment and many others here: 'Belle de Boskoop' on Adam's Apples). To read more thoughts, also check out this 'Belle de Boskoop' review on The Fruit Gardener weblog (and additional comments).

There perhaps might be some questions about how today's photograph was done. The photo was taken from inside my office, using external flash units for much of the lighting. The flash looks overdone for my taste, but dialing the flash down or adjusting the position of the flash units in order to create shadows on the surface of the apples resulted in the rain-droplet "stars" on the window pane being diminished, so choices were made. I would have preferred to have also gotten the shadow across the body of the apple effect that Taisha succeeded with in the 'Okana' photograph, but I think I would had to have made an exposure for that and an exposure for the background, then blended the two images together. As it is, the image-editing program was used to remove the narrow supports below the apples (which I also taped to the glass to stay in place).

Jul 4, 2014: Fragaria chiloensis

Fragaria chiloensis

And one more entry written by Taisha this week, who scribes:

Fragaria chiloensis, commonly known as the beach or coastal strawberry, was featured on Botany Photo of the Day late last year (Fragaria chiloensis and Lupinus littoralis). Daniel's photo in that entry shows plants growing en masse. Today's close-up photograph of a plant was uploaded to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool by Sandy Steinman@Flickr. He took this photo in mid-March near Abbott's Lagoon at Point Reyes National Seashore of California. Thanks for sharing, Sandy!

Like yesterday's Amelanchier, Fragaria chiloensis is a member of the rose family or Rosaceae. Species of Fragaria are distributed globally and vary in ploidy from diploid (two sets of chromosomes) to decaploid (ten!). Fragaria chiloensis is an octoploid. As mentioned in the previous entry, the beach strawberry is distributed along the western coast of North America with disjunct populations in Chile, Argentina, and Hawai'i. It's speculated that migrating birds carried the seeds from North America to the South American sites.

Once established on the coast of Chile, it seems the species was brought into cultivation by indigenous peoples of the area and transported regionally. Near the Bío Bío River, the Picunche to the north and Mapuche to the south cultivated the beach strawberry over 1000 years ago as a garden crop. The fruits were eaten fresh, dried, prepared as medicine, or made into juice and fermented. Over time, two distinct cultivated types stood out, a large white selection and an improved red form.

When the Spaniards invaded western South America, they considered the strawberries a bounty of conquest. Strawberry germplasm moved with the Spaniards north to Cuzco, Perú, and Ecuador. During the colonial period, strawberries began to be produced on a larger scale. Eventually, the beach strawberry was introduced to Europe in 1712, where it was extensively cultivated. The cultivated strawberry Fragaria x ananassa apparently originated from an accidental cross between the white-fruited version of Fragaria chiloensis subsp. chiloensis f. chiloensis and the meadow strawberry, Fragaria virginiana subsp. virginiana. By the 1950s, this hybrid overtook much of the traditional Fragaria chiloensis production. Despite Fragaria x ananassa's popularity, Fragaria chiloensis is still grown on a smaller scale throughout Ecuador and Chile. The species remains a source of germplasm for modern breeding programs (see: Finn, C.E. (2013). The Chilean strawberry (Fragaria chiloensis): Over 1000 years of domestication (PDF). HortScience. 48(4):418-421).

Jul 3, 2014: Amelanchier canadensis and Gymnosporangium sp.

Amelanchier canadensis and Gymnosporangium sp.

Taisha is again the author, and she writes:

Long-time BPotD reader and occasional contributor Wouter Bleeker of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada sent along today's photograph. It shows the fruits of an Amelanchier canadensis plant infected by a species of rust fungus from the genus Gymnosporangium. Thanks for sharing again, Wouter.

Rusts (order Pucciniales) are obligate plant parasites, i.e., they require plant hosts. Species of rusts often have multiple means of reproduction, each associated with a different stage in the life-cycle. Up to five different mechanisms for bearing spores (spermagonia, aecia, uredinia, telia, and basidia) are known for some species. These species of rusts require two specific and unrelated host vascular plant species: an aecial host (for spermagonia and/or aecia) and a telial host (for uredinia, telia, and basidia). Rust fungi taxa that require two hosts are called heteroecious. Some taxa, however, carry out their full life-cycle on only one host species (macrocyclic). Other rust species simply reproduce asexually with a single repeating life stage. More variations on the pattern include microcyclic (having only the telial and basidial stages and live on aecial hosts of macrocyclic relatives) or demicyclic (missing the uredinial life stage).

The Gymnosporangium clade has an array of life cycles (gif), host taxa, and degrees of host-specificity. Gymnosporangium species have a demicyclic life cycle, with most alternating between members of the Cupressaceae as a telial host (telia are gelatinous due to long pedicels of teliospores absorbing water in spring rains), and species from the Rosaceae supertribe Pyrodae (PDF) as aecial hosts (see: Novick, R. (2008). Phylogeny, taxonomy, and life cycle evolution in cedar rust fungi (Gymnosporangium)(Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses. (3317188)).

In the above photograph, the Gymnosporangium species is parasitizing a member of the Pyrodae, Amelanchier canadensis. This deciduous shrub species has a number of common names including shadbush, serviceberry, and juneberry. When members of the genus Amelanchier are infected by species from Gymnosporangium, symptoms include brownish-orange spots on leaves and distorted fruits with horn-like protrusions.

According to the Horticulture Diagnostic Laboratory at Cornell University (PDF), of the 36 species of Gymnosporangium that occur in North America, only three are significant in the northeast area to warrant concern. The three species includes the cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae), quince rust (Gymnosporangium clavipes), and hawthorn rust (Gymnosporangium globosum). Unfortunately, we're unsure which species is shown in the photograph submitted, but it could be quince or hawthorn rust. This is inferred from Penn State's fact sheet on cedar apple and related rusts. Both publications mention that the best way of preventing cedar rust diseases is to simply avoid planting alternate hosts close together. Planting resistant cultivars is another strategy. These management means should be employed before considering the use of fungicides.

Jun 14, 2014: Filipendula occidentalis

While Taisha was helping with the BC Butterfly Atlas workshop last weekend, I was attending the annual meeting of the Native Plant Society of Oregon. I had the privilege of being on a field trip that had special access to private property surrounding Angora Peak. We observed several state-sensitive / rare / locally-endemic plant species, including Filipendula occidentalis. Other biological treasures in the area included salamanders, long-tailed frogs (didn't get to see the one we encountered before it hid) and petaltail dragonflies (too early in the season to see).

This member of the rose family is only known from Washington's Pacific County and Oregon's Clatsop, Tillamook, Lincoln and Polk counties (and maybe Hood River, seemingly). It is one of two Filipendula species native to North America; the other is Filipendula rubra, commonly known as queen of the prairie. Filipendula occidentalis has a similar common name, queen of the forest. It's a bit of a misnomer, as the species is more associated with either bedrock crevices with near-permanent water seeps or the high-water mark of rocky-shored rivers rather than forest proper. I suppose queen of the seeps isn't acceptable.

The third photograph shows the habitat, as well as some look-alikes from a distance. The angular pipe-brush-like inflorescences of Aruncus dioicus are quickly distinguishable from the Filipendula, but at the distance this photograph was taken, the flowering heads of Heracleum maximum mask the Filipendula exceptionally well (hint: the Filipendula occidentalis is the lowermost cluster of white flowers). We were extremely fortunate to see any plants in flower, as they typically flower in late June / early July in this locale. I was only expecting to see foliage, so the flowers were one of two botanical highlights of the trip.

Dec 24, 2013: Lupinus littoralis and Fragaria chiloensis

Lupinus littoralis and Fragaria chiloensis

A scene from six months ago, this display of seashore lupines and beach strawberries in Rose Spit Ecological Reserve was one of the botanical highlights of my trip to Haida Gwaii. More details about the trip can be read in a July entry on Carex macrocephala.

Fragaria chiloensis is found along the western coast of North America from Alaska to California, skips the tropical Pacific coast, and is found again on the coasts of Chile and Argentina. It can also be found in Hawai'i. Evidence points to a North American origin, with subsequent long-distance dispersal to South America and Hawai'i by birds. Lupinus littoralis has a narrower distribution, found only from British Columbia to California along the coast. One does wonder why it isn't found in Alaska, though, given that Alaska's Prince of Wales Island is only 60-70 km north of this location.

Oct 18, 2013: Malus 'Okana'

Malus 'Okana'

Again, Taisha is both the writer and photographer. She writes:

The leaves are falling, the fall colours are vibrant, and the fruit is for the picking-- particularly the apple! This upcoming weekend of October 19-20 is the annual Apple Festival, held by the Friends of the Garden (FOGs). With all the hard work from the FOGs, staff, and other volunteers, this year's event is sure to be a success! Some forecasts show sun for Vancouver over the weekend, which is also pleasant considering last year we nearly were left bobbing for apples in the rain!

The Apple Festival is a family event for all ages in celebration of Malus. Each year, 44 000 lbs or 20 000 kilograms of apples are sold, including both heritage and newer varieties. Not only will apple fruits be for sale, but attendees can also see demonstrations on grafting and pressing, buy a grafted-onto-rootstock tree for the backyard or patio, or taste up to 60 varieties of apples in the apple-tasting tent. One of the highlights this year is the appearance and sale of the newly-named variety Malus 'Okana'.

The 'Okana' apple (PDF) was selected by David Evans of Oliver, British Columbia. Evans first discovered the 'Okana' apple tree among a grove of Malus 'Spartan' in 1998. It was bulked up vegetatively by grafting, and (as of 2005) 900 trees of 'Okana' were being grown on M26 rootstock. The selected traits for this cultivar were colour, sweet flavour, and ease of harvest. /p>

I did try this charming red apple after photographing it. The bright white flesh was sweet, hardly tart, and slightly acidic. It is exceptionally crisp and quite juicy. A very satisfying apple, and if you are local, you can try it for yourself this weekend--the Apple Festival runs both Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 4pm.

Also, after checking out the main events at the Apple Festival, you may want to pop over to UBC Farm. Along with their on-site booth at the Apple Festival, the Farm will be offering tours of their Heritage Orchard on Saturday at 10am, 12pm, and 2pm.

Daniel adds: Here are some of the apple cultivars previously featured on BPotD: Malus 'Elstar', Malus 'Jonagold', Malus 'Melrose', Malus SPA493, now marketed as 'Salish', Malus 'Cox's Orange Pippin', Malus 'Creston', and Malus 'Rubinette'.

May 29, 2013: Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi

Rosa acicularis subsp. sayi

Today's entry was written by Taisha:

With summer on its way in this hemisphere, I can't help but think of my favourite place to spend the season: Jasper, Alberta. I was fortunate enough to live there for a few years before moving to Vancouver, and I must say the beautiful wildflowers of the Canadian Rockies are at their finest in this National Park. I have chosen a reminder of my time in Jasper for today's Botany Photo of the Day, Rosa acicularis. This photo of the wild or prickly rose, the official flower of Alberta, was taken by Brian Van Snellenberg (aka brianv_vancouver@Flickr) in 2011 in Summerland, British Columbia. Thanks Brian.

Rosa acicularis has a Holarctic distribution, growing in northern Europe, Asia and North America. The subspecies sayi is North American, while subspecies acicularis is Eurasian (and Alaska). The North American subspecies is characteristic of boreal forests with white spruce and black spruce, but also extends into stands of quaking aspen, grasslands, and northern hardwood forests. It can be found as far south as New Mexico.

This perennial shrub can grow up to 1.2 meters in height. Plants bear radially symmetrical flowers on the prickly branches. The stipulate leaves are alternate and pinnately compound, comprised of five to nine leaflets. The flowers have five of both sepals and pink petals. A fleshy rosehip matures in the fall and houses the achenes, or the dry indehiscent fruits.

According to Aboriginal Plant Use in Canada's Northwest Boreal Forest by Robin J. Marles et al., First Nations peoples ate rose hips fresh after removing the seeds, or processed the hips into jellies, beverages, or syrups. Traditional medicinal uses included preventing colds and fever by eating the hips and treating eye soreness by using a decoction made of the root as eye drops.

Jan 29, 2013: Sorbus pallescens

Sorbus pallescens

Sharing something from the Garden today, because I don't think we've ever announced on Botany Photo of the Day that you can now visit UBC Botanical Garden virtually via Google StreetView. You can see today's plant (in early summer) from the middle of this Google StreetView capture, and explore from there. Today's photograph is from mid-October.

The Botanical Garden received this accession as seed from Roy Lancaster in late 1980 / early 1981, with the wild-collected number L[ancaster]465. Lancaster collected this seed from the biodiverse-rich Mount Emei (Mt. Omei) in Sichuan, China. The summary of a Royal Horticultural Society's Sorbus Study Day (PDF) in 2008 makes particular mention of this seed lot collected by Lancaster as one of the recommended cultivated types.

Sorbus is often divided into several subgenera (or, according to some, several distinct genera), with the two main groups being the subgenus Sorbus (the rowans or mountain-ashes) and the subgenus Aria (the whitebeams). Sorbus pallescens is a whitebeam, distinguished as part of this group by its simple leaves and unfused carpels in its fruit (see a summary of distinctions on Wikipedia's page for Sorbus). UBC Botanical Garden has many Sorbus species in its collection, but I am partial to Sorbus pallescens due to the flushing of red on its fruit. You can see more of the Garden's collections in this forum thread from a few months ago: Sorbus fruits of UBC Botanical Garden.

Today's species doesn't seem to have a common name in English. GRIN reports a common name via Flora of China (linked above): hui ye hua qiu. This small tree (to 10m or so) is native to southwest China and Tibet.

Oct 12, 2012: Malus 'Rubinette'

Malus 'Rubinette'

It's that time of year again--UBC Botanical Garden's biggest event of the year will occur this weekend, the UBC Apple Festival. This year, we'll have 20 000 kilograms (44 000 lbs.) of apples available for sale, from approximately seventy different cultivars. One particular highlight of this year's Apple Festival will be the announcement of the cultivar name for Malus SPA493, as this hybrid transitions from breeding and testing to becoming the newest apple cultivar in Canadian commercial production.

Malus 'Rubinette' will also be available for both tasting and purchase. This cultivar was developed by Walter Hauenstein of Switzerland. It was first introduced in 1964 and has since become a commercial crop in Switzerland. Hauenstein bred Malus 'Rubinette' from a cross of Malus 'Golden Delicious' and Malus 'Cox's Orange Pippin'. I photographed this particular apple because of the attractive striping, but that isn't necessarily a consistent feature of the cultivar--colouration can be splotchy or uniform. However, what it might lack in consistent beauty, it makes up for with intense flavour. The folks at OrangePippin.com call it "Probably the best-tasting apple in the world".

Sep 13, 2012: Rosa 'Auswinter'

Rosa 'Auswinter'

A thank you to Pygge Lord of Sweden aka fotrristi@Flickr for contributing today's photograph (original | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Group Pool). 'Tis appreciated!

Rosa 'Auswinter' is a hybrid shrub rose bred in the late 1990s by David Austin Roses, a cross between an unidentified seedling and Rosa 'Auscot'. A US Plant Patent was received in January 2003 describing Rosa 'Auswinter''s properties as "1. Tall, bushy, arching growth; 2. Quite large, neatly formed rosette shaped blooms with a strong, fruity tea rose fragrance; 3. Very good disease resistance; and 4. Repeat flowering".

Commercially, this rose is typically sold under the name Crown Princess Margareta, a reference to Princess Margaret of Connaught. Crown Princess Margareta is a trade designation as opposed to the cultivar name; see trade designations and marketing names under the Wikipedia entry on cultivars.

Aug 1, 2012: Kettle Mountain Meadows

I thought I'd add a visual coda to the series on colours in plants, since Bryant is feeling under the weather today. These photographs are from last weekend's near-solitary field-trip up to the peak of Kettle Mountain while I was attending Botany BC. As of a few weeks ago, these meadows formed part of the northeast edge of the Cascade Recreation Area, but they have now been added to E.C. Manning Provincial Park. One hopes that this might mean additional enforcement in dealing with those who despoil the meadows by driving off-trail (examples of both responsible and irresponsible use if one searches Youtube for "Whipsaw" and "Trail").

Apr 19, 2012: Spiraea henryi

Spiraea henryi

Another thank you to James Gaither (J.G. in S.F.@Flickr) for contributing today's image of Spiraea henryi via the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool. Appreciated, as always.

An endemic to China, Spiraea henryi is a 1-3m tall shrub associated with wooded areas at higher elevations (1300m - 3000m). For additional reading, see the information James has assembled (link to Spiraea henryi in previous paragraph).

Jan 3, 2012: Crataegus x lavallei

The series on Botany and Spirits was intended to conclude on December 23, but a flaky web connection at work that day frustrated attempts to do much online. Back from holidays today, we'll end the series and then move on to the entries that Katherine has been producing. For today's photographs, we can thank reader Richard Jaffe of San Jose, California, who sent them along when I requested images for the series. The photograph of the fruit is from his garden designed by Thomas Church.

Crataegus × lavallei is commonly known as Lavallée's hawthorn. This hybrid has been known since about 1870, when it was discovered at Arboretum de Segrez, an institution established by the French botanist and horticulturist Pierre Lavallée. Most older references will state the hybrid is a cross between the female parent Crataegus stipulacea or Crataegus pubescens crossed with the male parent Crataegus crus-gallii. However, the name of the female parent has been corrected to Crataegus mexicana while the name of the purported male parent has shifted to Crataegus calpodendron. Hawthorn taxonomy is a relatively complicated matter, thanks in part to the fact that apomicts are present (plants reproduce asexually), leading to the possibility of hundreds of microspecies being recognized. Depending on one's approach, one could recognize anywhere from two hundred to one thousand species in the genus.

On the topic of confusion and preferred nomenclature, Richard noted that the beverage in the second photograph was produced from a recipe for "hawthorn schnapps"--but Richard also recognized it was actually a vodka infusion. In Europe, schnapps is a distilled spirit made from fermented fruit, such as apples, pears, or cherries (of note, all of these are in the rose family, like hawthorn). However, schnapps is a term sometimes used for infused vodka products, such as the hawthorn-flavoured vodka in the second photograph. Vodka itself is a distilled spirit, made from different plant sources ranging from grains to potatoes to soybeans. The word schnapps is used yet again to describe a spirit mixed with flavouring and sugar (technically, a liqueur) that can have a lower alcoholic content; this is the popular use of the term in America.

Dec 12, 2011: Whipsaw Creek Road

Whipsaw Creek Road

Just the photograph today -- exams for Katherine combined with a number of deadlines and meetings for me equals few entries, unfortunately.

Jul 8, 2011: Fragaria × ananassa 'Rainier'

Fragaria × ananassa 'Rainier'

The breeding and selection of the 'Rainier' strawberry occurred in the 1960s, with commercial introduction in 1972. This cultivar was developed by Dr. Bruce Barritt (now retired) and C.D. Schwartz of Washington State University--hence the name. That it continues to be commercially grown is a testament to the quality of the fruit produced (it is quite tasty, though nothing surpasses wild strawberries) and cultivation demands of the plants. 'Rainier' is sufficiently disease-resistant for this particular farmer to use an integrated pest management approach. in IPM, synthetic pesticides are only used when necessary, and not necessarily used at all. Instead, other techniques such as preventative cultural practices (e.g., quick removal of diseased plants) or biological controls are used preferentially. This is a bit of a comfort, as strawberries as a crop are typically subject to pesticides.

Botanically speaking, strawberries aren't true berries; a berry is a fleshy fruit produced from a single ovary, like a blueberry. Instead, strawberries are classified as an accessory fruit, where the edible part is not produced by the ovary at all. The fleshy part of the strawberry is actually the swollen receptacle. To make a comparison with raspberries (each an aggregate of drupelets), the receptacle of the raspberry plant is the pulpy, yellowish-white part left behind after the raspberry is picked.

Mar 31, 2011: Rosa omeiensis

Rosa omeiensis

Today's photograph is used with the kind permission of Dr. David Boufford of the Harvard University Herbaria. The field notes accompanying this photograph are available from the Biodiversity of the Hengduan Mountains site, Rosa omeiensis; a glance at the specimen page will reveal this plant was growing in a forest of fir, larch and birch with a rhododendron understorey.

Fruit colour is variable in Rosa omeiensis, ranging from bright red to deep red to yellow (and, as seen in today's photograph, mixtures thereof). The fruits are edible, reportedly tasting sweet. The Flora of China entry for Rosa omeiensis notes that they are used medicinally and "to ferment wine" (not sure if that means used to produce wine, or used to aid wine fermentation).

Broadly distributed across central and southern China and Tibet, Omei rose can be found in cultivation, where a particular form (Rosa omeiensis f. pteracantha) is (relatively) widely grown for its winged thorns, much like these thorns from a wild plant. The flowers also have an ornamental appeal, if one appreciates simplicity in rose blossoms.

Feb 16, 2011: Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora'

Thank you for the comments and emails yesterday re: places in the southeastern USA -- I will reply individually to each of you by the end of the week!

After having written most of the today's entry, a rewrite was in order; to censor a quote from one of my favourite movies, "I've got information. New (expletive) has come to light!". It seems like the series on plants of Japan is becoming more of a series on "plants of China and / or Japan influenced by the other country" after yesterday's Camellia hybrid and today's Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora'. Before getting into the details, first of all today's photographs are courtesy of Jane of Missouri, USA, aka Shotaku@Flickr (original photo 1 | original photo 2 | Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Dōmo arigatō, Shotaku.

When I first encountered Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' some years ago, I couldn't immediately tell what family it was a part of. The problem was the lack of flower characteristics due to the 'Pleniflora' -- in this case, a "doubling" mutation where the stamens instead develop into petals and the plants are sterile (for a different kind of doubling mutation in the same family, see Rubus spectabilis 'Olympic Double'. Now that I've mentioned Rubus is in the same family, I've given away that Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' is a member of the Rosaceae.

Kerria is named after William Kerr, noted by Wikipedia as "the first Western professional full-time plant collector active in China" and the person who introduced Kerria into cultivation in Europe by sending Kerria japonica 'Pleniflora' to England in 1805. It twigged on me that Wikipedia's account doesn't mention Kerr taking a trip to Japan, so I started to question the name japonica, a specific epithet meaning "of Japan".

Many, many references state that Kerria japonica, or "Japanese yellow rose" is native to China and Japan (and sometimes Korea). A little bit of digging first revealed that Thunberg, during a collecting trip to Japan in 1776, had first collected the species that was to be eventually named as Kerria japonica. However, the specimen was in poor or incomplete condition, so it was initially determined that the species belonged to a different genus (and family). When it was properly recognized as a new genus post-1805 thanks in part to the living material sent by Kerr, it was named after Kerr but retained the japonica specific epithet. What Thunberg (and Linnaeus, who published the original name) didn't realize, though, was that Kerria japonica is apparently not native to Japan. It seems that it had been introduced as a garden ornamental from China! I haven't had any luck tracking down the reference that asserts that Kerria japonica was never native to Japan, but a respected source makes the statement: Dr. Susan Hamilton of the University of Tennessee Gardens on Kerria; and Gerald Klingaman, retired horticultural extension agent at the University of Arkansas makes an allusion: Kerria japonica. If anyone knows of the reference, I'd be glad to add a link. Lesson? Always check your assumptions.

For gardening accounts and additional details of both the species Kerria japonica and its cultivated varieties, see Paghat's page on Kerria japonica (with a small essay of its cultural importance in Japan!) or Tim Wood's weblog entry on Kerria.

Nov 15, 2010: Sorbus commixta N100

Sorbus commixta N100

I contributed the scan for today's Botany Photo of the Day, while Eric La Fountaine is responsible for the writing (thanks Eric). Eric writes:

The identity of the tree providing the leaf for today's Botany Photo of the Day image had been a mystery at the garden since the tree was planted in 1988. The plant came to us as a scion from a Sorbus collected in 1976 by Tor Nitzelius on the South Korean island, Ulleungdo. With its large leaves and long internodes, the tree has a striking, almost tropical, appearance. It was thought to most closely resemble Sorbus commixta--a species from Japan, Korea, Sakhalin and the Kurile Islands of Russia--but the description of Sorbus commixta does not quite fit the specimen.

After 24 years, we still had not put a precise name to the tree, so I sent an email to the Gothenburg Botanical Garden in Sweden, where our plant was sourced. Mats Havström, Senior Scientific Curator, replied that they had also determined it to be closest to Sorbus commixta. At Gothenburg, the taxon is referred to as either "Sorbus 'Ullung-do'" or "Sorbus commixta subsp. novum?" (meaning--is it a new subspecies?). The leaves of our plant at UBCBG are 30+ cm long with leaflets to 100 mm--somewhat larger than the maximum size normally attributed to the species. The fruit also exceeds the normal size and is soft, pear- or teardrop-shaped and held loosely as compared to the usually hard, round fruit of Sorbus commixta, borne in tighter clusters.

Mr. Havström also wrote, "The collections have also given rise to a horticultural selection made by the Swedish University of Agricultural in Alnarp, called Sorbus 'Dodong', which has received the Swedish Elite Plant award, "E-planta" and has become quite popular in Nordic gardens." Sorbus 'Dodong' (note: linked page is a Google translation from Swedish) has become a popular landscape introduction in Sweden. The medium-sized tree has a narrow form and sports blazing autumn leaf colour. This tree is also being marketed under the trade name Olympic Flame.

The tree here at UBC Botanical Garden is at least 10 metres tall, but with a broad spread. The fruit are large, glossy red and teardrop- or pear-shaped. The autumn colour is also striking, but quite different than Sorbus 'Dodong'. Here, the leaves turn bright yellow with red to brownish-red leaflet tips. Some leaves remain yellow and others turn mostly red as in today's image. I have uploaded several less artistic images to the garden's forums that show dimension and colour of the tree at UBCBG. Very little fruit had been seen on the tree in previous years and it was generally out of reach. In collecting, I noted that some fruit had small slices in the side and the seed had been eaten, perhaps by a jay. Seed was extracted from the fruit in the photos and is in cold stratification. Hopefully, germination will be successful in the spring. For the moment, we are calling the tree here at UBC Botanical Garden Sorbus commixta N100.

Oct 15, 2010: Malus 'Creston'

Malus 'Creston'

We start our October series on "Plant Biodiversity and Food" with our nearly-annual photograph of an apple (not sure what happened in 2007), a reference to UBC Botanical Garden's Apple Festival. The Apple Festival is our most well-attended event of the year, and it's a great opportunity to sample some apples one's never tried before (previous year's BPotD apples: Malus 'Elstar', Malus 'Jonagold', Malus 'Melrose', Malus 'Golden Russet', Malus SPA493 and Malus 'Cox's Orange Pippin'). I've just checked the booklet, and all of these are available this year for purchase or tasting, along with dozens and dozens more.

Since the booklet has great descriptions of the varieties, I'll quote from it to start: [Malus 'Creston' was] released from the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Apple Breeding Program in Summerland, British Columbia in 1997. In tests, it finishes in the top two for crispness, juiciness, sweetness and flavour. Its parents are 'Golden Delicious' and an unreleased test apple," Malus 'NJ 381049'; it was originally bred in 1966 at Rutgers University, though the seedling was planted in Summerland in 1969. Around the office, we sampled the apple in today's photograph, and it was universally liked: crisp, tangy to start but developing into sweetness and definitely juicy. It would be on my list of favourites to purchase at the Apple Festival, but I doubt any will remain by the time I can purchase after my volunteering stint.

For additional information on Malus 'Creston', please see the US Patent for Malus 'Creston' or the Cultivar Description of Malus 'Creston' (PDF) from the Canadian Journal of Plant Science.

Apr 14, 2007: Eriobotrya japonica hybrid

Eriobotrya japonica

A contribution from fancymefoxy@Flickr gives us today's photograph to add to the series on tropical (and subtropical) fruits (original | BPotD Flickr Group Pool). Thank you!

Loquat is a member of the rose family, and native to southeastern China and (possibly) Japan. Read more via Fruits of Warm Climates: Eriobotrya japonica.

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