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More Amazing Conifer Seed Cones!

Spring is the season for gorgeous seed cones, and even male pollen cones can be decorative. Most people think of ‘pine’ cones as brown and dry, because the cones that fall and are collected are always older seed cones from prior years. But real coneheads know that this year’s cones, both male and female, are the real eye candy. ACS member Ellen Smart caught this Pinus contorta really showing off:

Shore pine, pollen cones
Pinus contorta male strobili by Ellen Smart


Just as pretty as those silly flowers that Angiosperms produce, right?

She also found a fabulous seed cone cluster on a Korean fir:

A particularly fecund Abies koreana by Ellen Smart


Even older cones can be decorative, even though sometimes you have to look carefully to find them. On the conifer road trip to the San Bernadino Mountains two weeks ago, Dave Olszyk found an enormous Calocedrus decurrens with a cluster of last year’s seed cones. Like so many little birds in a nest with their mouths open:

pine cones
Calocedrus decurrens, or incense cedar, by Dave Olszyk


It was a really fun trip and cones seemed to be everywhere. We even spotted one in a Starbucks:

pine cone tattoo
Now this is a really committed conehead!


This young Abies concolor ‘Blue Cloak’ cone doesn’t look like much:

Abies concolor 'Blue Cloak' cone
White fir young female cone


But look what’s inside:

Abies concolor seed cone
The ‘flower’ inside the white fir female cone


So get out there and explore your conifers for spring cones!

And if you missed this post, here are 12 more cones for your enjoyment.




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