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Conifer cone collection (4 Replies)

Posted May 25, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Hi everyone,

I want to start a collection of conifer cones. Has anyone heard of anyone doing this? I was trying to think of how to do it, and I figure mounting them in a box with a glass lid, not unlike an entomology collection with the specific epithet and date or collection beneath. It would be a good conversation piece anyway.

I suppose to get all diagnostic details in each cone, I will have to collect them strategically. Abies dis-articulate as the cone matures, and the bracts from Pinus seem to fall away given time. Does anyone have any tips?

Also, is it legal to ship cones with seeds and all other parts intact over the border?

Thank you.

Clay

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Posted May 25, 2015 at 9:57 pm

Hi Clay, I have a pretty decent cone collection. I have to admit there is no organization to it whatsoever; just kind of strewn allover in boxes, on shelves, you name it. I’ve found tags like this handy for labeling them for when my brain gets dodgy. I have found that most pine and spruce cones last for a very long time with no special treatment. I can’t offer much help for fir and cedar.

I do not believe that there are any restriction regarding mailing seeds and cones across state or national borders.

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Posted May 25, 2015 at 10:24 pm

Thank you very much, David!

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Posted May 26, 2015 at 12:27 am

Clay I don’t have a formal collection but Dave can attest to the fact that those of us that went on the conifer road trip to the Angeles National Forest and Torrey Pines State Preserve last month packed our suitcases with so many P. coulteri and P. lambertiana cones that we worried that TSA was going to think that they were grenades and suspect a terrorist plot!

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Posted May 27, 2015 at 10:24 am

In fact, here is a P. coulteri cone from the visitor’s center at Torrey Pines State Preserve. The tag is cut and lacquered from a branch with bark. We coneheads thought that this cone was even cooler than the stuffed eagles, foxes, etc etc!

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