Recent Blog Posts

Abies equi-trojani - Trojan Fir

  • Posted on: 2 January 2019

On our first visit to the homeland of Abies equi-trojani (in the autumn of 1980) we were accompanied by local forestry colleagues to the site where people were busy with seed harvest – collecting cones of the fir. Luckily enough, when we stopped at one place near the mixed stands of fir, beech and black pine, we met workers who had a cart full of freshly gathered cones!

Cathaya argyrophylla - Yinshan

  • Posted on: 26 December 2018

The story of the discovery, natural history and taxonomy of this remarkable plant has been described many ways, many times; one of the latest is an article and two associated reports in a 2009 issue of Arnoldia published by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. (By typing in the key words 'Arnoldia' and 'Cathaya', the article readily comes up on the web). 

Abies fraseri cones

  • Posted on: 21 December 2018


This fir usually has small (less than 6 cm long) but very attractive cones with the dark blue-gray cone having relatively large, long-exserted, broad-winged, showy bracts. This example is from Benmore Botanic Garden, R.B.G. Edinburgh.

Genus: Abies


Cedrus libani subsp. libani - Cedar of Lebanon

  • Posted on: 19 December 2018

Pilgrimage to the cedars of Lebanon October 2010
For many years I wished to see the cedars of Lebanon… In my garden in Tokaj, Hungary, I have a very nice grove of Lebanon cedars now over 20 years old, grown from seed received from Turkey.

Abies koreana

  • Posted on: 14 December 2018

As observed in cultivation, this fir has cones greatly variable in color – from green to purplish- or blue-gray. The length and color of the bracts are also variable. Most commonly the cones are dark gray with some level of bluish tint as shown in this specimen photographed in the arboretum of the Polish Institute of Dendrology (Kórnik).

Genus: Abies


Cupressus sempervirens - Mediterranean Cypress

  • Posted on: 12 December 2018

Wild populations of this well-known cypress are not commonly seen. One has to travel to Crete or a few other Aegean islands, or certain places in Turkey, to mention some better known locations. When we were on our 2010 trip to Turkey and made a brief detour to enter Dilek Peninsula, we did not expect to see it.

Abies numidica

  • Posted on: 7 December 2018


This species is often confused with A. pinsapo, because the leaves on terminal branches may appear radially (especially in drier circumstances and on leading shoots). However, A. numidica has pectinately outspreading, longer, flat, shiny, dark green needles on the shade branches, while the needles of A. pinsapo are radially outspreading, short, cylindrical, gray, and sharper.



Juniperus drupacea - Syrian Juniper

  • Posted on: 5 December 2018

Despite its name, most populations of this distinctive juniper are found in southern Asia Minor (Turkey) and only smaller stands or scattered individuals in Lebanon and Syria. One outlying population is also present in Europe – on southern (mainland) Greece, very briefly discussed below.

Abies recurvata

  • Posted on: 30 November 2018

An easily recognized species, in spite that the plants vary in foliage color (usually shiny green but sometimes silvery gray above with dense stoma-lines) as well as in cone color (medium gray to intense blue-gray). The cones are small, with a maximum length of 8 cm but usually in the 5-6 cm range.


Torreya jackii - Weeping Torreya

  • Posted on: 28 November 2018

During a visit to China many years ago we documented a cultivated plant of Torreya jackii for our Dendrological Atlas project. It was more than clear that this is a most distinctive species not only in the genus, but also in comparison with a broader circle of conifers.