Piper and Pebble Beach

Last week I was in California for the U.S. Amateur Championship at Pebble Beach. I was running on a trail in the Del Monte Forest on Saturday when I came to an open area called The Meadow.

trail in Del Monte Forest

Beside the trail there you can see this marker, noting that the trail is dedicated to Vern Yadon.

yadon piperia marker

As I was reading the plaque, I saw that Yadon has a species of Piperia named after him—Piperia yadonii. The genus Piperia is named for Charles Vancouver Piper, the first chairman of the USGA Green Section.

I’ve written about Piper before. This profile highlights some of the interesting things I learned as I studied Piper’s life and work. He climbed Mt. Rainier with John Muir; he was a founding member of the American Society of Agronomy; he traveled to the Philippines and to Panama on army business to find suitable forages; and he had a genus of orchid, Piperia, named for him.

Rolla Kent Beattie wrote this about Piper:

“Those who knew him in his later years only remember him chiefly for his brilliant leadership in the agronomic field. But Professor Piper’s older friends think of him as a naturalist, especially as a botanical explorer and pioneer. Aptly was he named Vancouver. What George Vancouver did for the geography of Puget Sound and the Pacific Northwest and more, Piper did for the botany.”

I thought it fitting that in this mecca of American golf, in the forests above Pebble Beach and Cypress Point and Spyglass Hill, there are orchids named for Piper.

Micah Woods
Micah Woods

Scientist, author, consultant, and founder of the Asian Turfgrass Center

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