Jeremy Cherfas, who ran the International Plant Genetic Resources Institute’s Public Awareness Weblog (in 2005; the organization is now Bioversity International and lacks a similar weblog) visited Vancouver a few weeks ago. While in town, he dropped by to introduce himself and say “hello”, so I took him and his Vancouver host, Ruth, for a tour of the garden. When we walked by this Japanese black pine, Jeremy asserted that I had to take a photo of these immature female cones for the Photo of the Day, so here they are.
In North America, there is much news about pests from elsewhere causing widespread damage to North American ecosystems. Rarely is the opposite reported here, i.e., North American natives causing problems in other countries. Media coverage or not, the introduction of exotic species is a global problem, and not confined to North America. The Gymnosperm Database‘s excellent account of Pinus thunbergii makes reference to Busaphelenchus xylophilus, a North American nematode, decimating the native Pinus thunbergii of Japan’s coasts.
Conversely, Pinus thunbergii is sometimes regarded as being an undesirable exotic itself. Brooklyn Botanic Garden classifies it as invasive in its New York Metropolitan Flora Project. The specimen records of Pinus thunbergii reveal that is a particular problem on Long Island. However, the plant does not seem to exhibit the same behaviour locally in the Pacific Northwest of North America.