Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Miami Pinus (Not)

Pines are evergreen and resinous trees growing to 3–80 m tall, but these branches are touching the ground as seen in this photo.

Pines have four types of leaves:

1. Seed leaves (cotyledons) on seedlings, borne in a whorl of 4-24.
2. Juvenile leaves, which follow immediately on seedlings and young plants, 2-6 cm long, single, green or often blue-green, and arranged spirally on the shoot. These are produced for six months to five years, rarely longer (and also produced later in life after injury in some pines).
3. Scale leaves, similar to bud scales, small, brown and non-photosynthetic, and arranged spirally like the juvenile leaves.
4. Needles, the adult leaves, which are green (photosynthetic), bundled in clusters (fascicles) of (1-) 2-5 (-6) needles together, each fascicle produced from a small bud on a dwarf shoot in the axil of a scale leaf. These bud scales often remain on the fascicle as a basal sheath. The needles persist for 1.5-40 years, depending on species. If a shoot is damaged (e.g. eaten by an animal), the needle fascicles just below the damage will generate a bud which can then replace the lost growth.

As usual, TOG corrected my sometime careless research, and pointed out that the photo is not that of a "pinus." Of course, I need to double check what he says. This time, he is right, so here is the correct narration:

Casuarina Cunninghamiana

Casuarina is a genus of 17 species in the family Casuarinaceae, native to Australia, southeastern Asia, and islands of the western Pacific Ocean. C. Cunninghamiana and C. Equisetifolia have been introduced species in several countries, including Argentina, China, Egypt, Israel, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, South Africa and the southern United States; in the United States it was introduced in the early 1900s, and is now considered an invasive species. The species has nearly quadrupled in southern Florida between 1993 and 2005.

May be I should post a real photo of "Pinus" but I would hate to climb all the way up "there."


1 comment:

TOG said...

I think your pine is a Casuarina cunninghamiana. It is much prettier then Casuarina equisetifolia (The pest from Australia) Take a look here: