Recently, after discovering trees like Juglans olanchana, and Ulmus mexicana, I have gone down the rabbit hole of species that are outliers compared to the rest of their genus. Tropical maples are a thing which blew my mind and then there’s the pawpaw (Asimina triloba) where that genus is generally tropical or subtropical. If anybody can list species that are genera outliers, I’d love for you to share. Or if you know of a source that lists this type of data that would also be great! Thanks.
Edit: Here is my list for anyone curious
Multiple pine, and oak species.
Picea farreri (not really tropical but one of the least cold hardy spruce species)
Picea martinezii (same as above spruce)
There’s also Juniperus procera, the African Juniper, which I guess doesn’t really grow in a tropical climate as it’s a species found at high elevations in the mountains of East Africa and the southern Arabian Peninsula.
For as much of a horrendous weed as it is, Ailanthus altissima is unique for being one of the only temperate plants within the family Simaroubaceae, and this has actually led to the very weird range of the moth Atteva aurea, which naturally uses species of Simarouba native to south florida, the caribbean, and central america as a host plant, but, due to how well Ailanthus has dominated the US this little tropical moth that once had its northern range limit in south florida has massively expanded its range, following Ailanthus as far north as Toronto and as far west as Colorado.
(Apparently there are records of Atteva aurea in Maine and Nova Scotia as well? But I dont think Ailanthus is found there so maybe those were dispersing moths)
A couple of recently extinct species from eastern North American come to mind - Carolina Parakeet and Thismia americana. They aren’t trees but they worth mentioning because they are just so out of range compared to the other species.
Thanks, yeah the tropical pines are quite interesting. I’ve often wondered if you could hybridize a tropical pine with a temperate pine. Be interesting to see the result of something absolutely absurd like banksiana x caribaea. These are the thoughts that keep me up haha.
Wow that is interesting. I think if there are any Ailanthus in Maine or NS then they must be a dieback perennial during most winters. Although I observed the ones around here in Oklahoma survive -12F with virtually no dieback during the polar outbreak in Feb 2021. Unfortunately same with another invasive, Firmiana simplex.
I think Canary Island Juniper is the most tropical one that I know of. As well as Bermuda Juniper. On iNat there is a decent amount of Chinese Junipers surviving in places like Hawaii and the Caribbean. But I don’t really count those since they’re not native to the tropics.
I forage for pawpaws >_> they are delishhhh and totally worth a try if you ever get a chance.
Also not hard to start, just takes a lot of time, so giving that a go to get a grove going on our own land :)
Mane is a bit out of paw paw range…You need a healthy genetic variety to get any fruiting, so you’ll need to find multiples from different populations. They aren’t particularly difficult, but takes years before payoff. Just letting you know it isn’t a plant one and be done type tree in case were unaware :)
In Costa Rica, Quercus corrugata grows in the closed-canopy cloud forest, where it looks just like all the other tropical forest trees. You’d never guess it was an oak – until you see the acorns 2 inches in diameter.
There is one local tropical tree that is called Castanopsis inermis, Braided Chestnut. The usual chestnuts are imported from China, korea and USA and goes by other names in the Castanea genus. I don’t know if Fagaceae are generally temperate or subtropical though. I just find it interesting a chestnut-like fruit exist in the forest.
There is a tropical persimmon, Diospyros blancoi, from tropical lowland of Phillipines or elsewhere. We have it here, can grow from seeds in the wild. The usual persimmons, Diospyros kaki, grows in temperate regions. The various species can be found from tropical to temperate regions.
There is greater number of tree species in subtropical and tropical areas compared to temperate regions.
You beat me to it. I was going to point out that Diospyros is, through taxonomic convolutions, the type genus of Ebenaceae, the ebony family. So we have a genus of exotic tropical hardwoods (ebony), with a few species of temperate fruits (persimmons).
Pawpaws also do a lot of root sprouting, which I didn’t know till several years after I planted three. For what it’s worth, I live in north-central Massachusetts and my trees fruit well. I would think that pawpaws would do well in coastal Maine, except perhaps far down east.
But do I have Pawpaw Sphinxes yet? I do not. pouts