May 2015

Ribbon Bush

My appreciation for ribbon bush is acquired, as one might acquire a taste for fine wine. It began when I accompanied my husband-to-be into the forest. We were gathering data for his thesis entitled “Taxonomical Investigation of Extant or Disjunct Populations of Pinus ponderosa”. My prior knowledge of botany and horticulture was nil, and this particular thesis was never completed. However the excursion itself was my introduction to an endemic shrub that I came to call “ribbon bush”. The story of how this happened is as intricate as its branches and covers the greater part of my adult life. I will attempt to convey an abbreviated version.

Led over logs, up ridges, and around boulders I was at first oblivious to the...