I think I need to set more challenging objectives for my lunchtime walks. I found two of the three madrones (Arbutus menziesii) on the first day of searching. The hunt did take me into a bed that I hadn’t wandered through before, but actually, one of the madrones is visible from the road outside the gardens.

Anyway, the proof:


Taken 13 December 2005

One of the reasons I like madrone so much is its papery bark. On the younger branches, it peels off in entire sheets, exposing the green underbark. On older wood, it alligators like a charred log, which is much less dramatic.


Taken 13 December 2005

The thirteenth was an overcast day, which made it difficult to take photos in natural light (I don’t use the camera’s light). The ones I got were either against the sky (this one has been lightened considerably to bring out the red in the leaves),


Taken 13 December 2005

…or lucky shots, still enough not to blur but slow enough to get the tremendous colour saturation that comes from overcast day photography.


Taken 13 December 2005

I will have to pick a more evasive plant for my next quest.

2 thoughts on “Treespotting”

  1. Good job! In California the underbark stays smooth for quite some time and turns a lovely red. Have you tried stalking redwoods or buckeyes? Of course the real challenges are the invisible, mobile, and imaginary ones.

  2. Dad,

    I’ve found a redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) without stalking (or trunking) – it was in a grove of conifers I was exploring one day last month.

    The Botanics website shows rather a lot of buckeye (Aesculus californica) in some of the beds I walked through on the madrone quest, but at present I would have to read labels to find them. I think I’ll wait till spring or summer to try to find deciduous species.

    Any further evergreens to suggest? I’m considering the tan oak (Lithocarpus densiflorus). It looks like the garden has one specimen.

    Any further hunts will probably have to wait until the new year, though, because the one full day I am working before Christmas includes a departmental lunch.

Comments are closed.