This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V20", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
The Gardener's Chronicle has been giving some sketches of scraggy Pinus ponderosa, as seen in the Rocky Mountains, which we can forgive for the sake of the picturesque rocks of Monument Park, whichaccompany the pictures; but, surely, our good contemporary is mistaken in its statement that it varies much in the Rocky Mountains, and that the string of synonyms has anything to do with such variations. We appreciate that kindness of heart which thus lets down nurserymen's blunders so easily. There is a great difference between the Pinus ponderosa of the Rocky Mountains and the form or forms on the Pacific coast; but the Pinus ponderosa of the Rocky Mountains is remarkably consistent with itself. But this is what the Chronicle says:
" For the accompanying views (figs. 138, 139), representing this tree in its native country, we are indebted to the courtesy of Sir Joseph Hooker, the President of the Royal Society. Sir Joseph met with the species here represented in various parts of the Rocky Mountains, and noted its great variability according to soil and other conditions. The photographs from which our figures were executed were taken in Monument Park, Colorado, under the auspicies of the United States Geological Survey, and represent, not only the stunted and contorted tree, but also the curious stratification of the rock: in fig. 139 pillars have been formed capped with a layer of rock of harder texture. The whole forms an admirable example of the erosive power of water, in wearing away the softer layers, and leaving comparatively untouched the harder strata of rock. To the artist, geologist, or physical geographer these views are particularly interesting, while the landscape gardener may derive a few hints as to the formation of rock-work. The lover of coniferous trees may perhaps receive a shock at seeing what his favorites become at an advanced age, and truly many conifers are scraggy-looking objects enough when seen in Pineta or in parks, where their gaunt denuded limbs are not in harmony with the surroundings; but let them be seen in association with bold rocky scenery, as in our illustrations, and the effect produced is by no means unsatisfactory. "We hope shortly to publish some illustrations, from Sir Joseph's pencil, showing the. appearance of some of these trees in their native country as observed by him in his recent journey.
Pinus ponderosa is widely distributed in the Rocky Mountains, and varies considerably in different localities, so that it has received several aliases, such a P. brachyptera, P. Beardsleyi, P. Engelmanni, P. Benthamiana, P. Sinclairiana, P. Parryana, etc. A good account of it, with a figure of the leaves and cone, will be found in the fourth volume of the Journal of the Horticultural Society, 1849, p. 212, from the pen of Mr. Gordon".