Conifers of California

Conifers of California


Conifers grow nearly everywhere in California. They are found at sea level to about 12,000 feet, and they grace nearly every natural habitat in the state, ranging from arid desert scrub to fog-shrouded rainforest. California is home to 52 native coniferous species; no other state, and, indeed, no other comparably-sized region on Earth contains more conifers or harbors a greater diversity of cone-bearing plants.

California's conifers are remarkable not only for their variety, but also for the large number of them that can only be described with superlatives. There is coast redwood, the world's tallest tree; giant sequoia, the world's most massive tree; Great Basin bristlecone, Earth's oldest living organism; and Torrey pine, rarest pine in the United States. California also harbors an assemblage of other intriguing but less-famous conifers, such as Santa Lucia fir, Brewer spruce, and Monterey cypress.

Conifers of California is the first book devoted to all of the state's conifers. Its author, Ronald M. Lanner (professor emeritus, Utah State University) has explored, studied, and taught about forest trees in the west for 40 years. In Conifers of California he shares his expertise and introduces each of California's cone-bearers in an engaging text that serves as both natural history and field guide. Lanner's narratives are accompanied by detailed identification information, watercolor botanic illustrations by the late Eugene O. Murman, color photographs of each species by well-known landscape photographers, and distribution maps.

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