Thursday, September 22, 2016

all pines are conifers, but all conifers are not pines

This time of year, people start writing and talking about "pine" trees, and the corner of my one eye start to twitch a little bit.  We live on a Christmas Tree Farm, so it can become a huge part of the conversation some days.  Someone might call and ask if we have any 12 - 15 foot Pines.  We think they're actually asking for a specific thing and reply accordingly.

WHITE PINE
They get here.
"Oh no!  I didn't want that!  We always get Pines with short, soft needles." 
Ahhh... that would probably be a Fir tree.


BALSAM FIR
or, "We always get those pretty pale blue Pines,"
Uh huh... Spruce.

BLUE SPRUCE

Sometimes they want Cedar (aka Juniper).



And then there's Hemlock.  There are other conifers and evergreens too.  I'm just thinking of the ones here, and the ones most often written about as the holidays approach, and for each of the last 15 years, I have had at least one discussion with a writer.  They don't always go well.  When using plants medicinally, it is really important to understand this distinction.

These are all conifers (cone bearing) and evergreen.  They are not all Pines.

SCOTS OR SCOTCH PINE

CONCOLOR OR WHITE FIR

Broccoli is a vegetable - not all vegetables are broccoli.  Nobody calls spinach broccoli.
Tinsel is a decoration - not all decorations are tinsel.
A cat is a pet - not all pets are cats.
See how this works?

NOT EVERGREEN, CONIFER, OR EVEN A TREE.  BUT IT IS A PLANT.  PINE?  NO.

2 comments:

Jackie Messinger said...

Ah, Tina, you make me laugh! I work in a nursery, so I can sympathize.
Jackie

IrisWeaver said...

Very funny! Great examples. I enjoyed this. Iris

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