New Zealand Alpine Flora

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Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Dave, I love seeing your NZ plants in either location, here on NARGS and on SRGC, thanks for bringing them here. I've been a long time fan of the weird and wondrous flora of both New Zealand and Australia, and I use the term "weird" in the most complimentary way, as the flora is so different and unique, that in many cases even the family the plants belong to are utterly unique.  But I'm a  huge fan.

A case in point, Stellaria roughii, where one must discard any notion about what a Stellaria looks like, why... because this one from New Zealand is doing a fair impression of Rosularia or an Orostachys.  Cool plant.

And there are so many awesome hard-domed cushions, like Donatia and Hectorella that you show.  I want to visit New Zealand, just so that I can try walking on one of these cushions, where supposedly the cushion will hold firm and not depress under foot!  And to be in a place where the Apiaceae have run amuk, that's a dream to be sure, with the likes of mystical hedgehog Aciphylla species, with separate sexes no less, the fluffy males being the best, and bold Anistome species show their form, not shy in the least.

Celmisia is a genus that has always attracted me, from tight hummock-forming species to the larger imposing species you show, the latter impress me the most, such as verbascifolia (yum), semicordata, and the dramatic traversii with that indumentum.

I've grown a few NZ Ranunculus in my day, and when I lived in the Seattle Washington area, the genus Hebe figured prominently among low evergreen shrubs for the area, I wish they were hardier here in New England.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Thanks Mark for your kind comments .

I know what you mean regarding different flora -- -- thinking Cacti are plants of true deserts i still have trouble getting my head around them growing in the wild in an alpine setting and recently RickR has shown Opuntia growing on the prairie land of Western Minnesota. I still have a lot to learn  :D

Saw some nice gems while out and about yesterday --seems most Genera are either in or going to bloom this season.

I came across 3 variations of Celmisia linearis, the best being this little honey  :P even my wife Hilda ,who is not a plants person at all ,raised her eyebrows upon viewing the shots  ;D

Celmisia semicordata ssp stricta taken in an 'interesting' position --my right hand was hanging onto a clump of snowgrass while i arched my body away from the slope and took ,(after many attempts),the pic with my left hand .....

Aciphylla aurea with a view.

On the lower slopes on a tor ,Dolichoglottis lyallii

and surrounded by moss ,Celmisia densiflora

Cheers dave.

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I am impressed, Dave, the plants look awesome! C. linearis is something to try in the garden!
But be careful not to fall when you take your pictures.
I was wondering about the whitish mossy or lichenlike vegetation surrounding the plants. Is the ground dryish and lacking nutrients?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Booker
Booker's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-01-30

Another superb set of images, Dave.

Cliff Booker A.K.A. Ranunculus
On the moors in Lancashire, U.K.
Usually wet, often windy, sometimes cold ... and that's just me!

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Thanks Cliff.

Hoy wrote:

I was wondering about the whitish mossy or lichenlike vegetation surrounding the plants. Is the ground dryish and lacking nutrients?

Trond
While that particular area in Northern Southland is made up of ultrabasic rock ,(lacking in some nutrients),the Celmisia densiflora i 'posted' appeared to be growing well.

Not so the following pic ,which was taken in heavy fog ,early this year in Fiordland.You can see very poor stunted specimens of Celmisia verbascifolia surrounded by lichen like vegetation and yet only a short distance away Chionochloa sps ,(snow tussocks), are thriving.

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Toole wrote:

Thanks Cliff.

Hoy wrote:

I was wondering about the whitish mossy or lichenlike vegetation surrounding the plants. Is the ground dryish and lacking nutrients?

Trond
While that particular area in Northern Southland is made up of ultrabasic rock ,(lacking in some nutrients),the Celmisia densiflora i 'posted' appeared to be growing well.

Not so the following pic ,which was taken in heavy fog ,early this year in Fiordland.You can see very poor stunted specimens of Celmisia verbascifolia surrounded by lichen like vegetation and yet only a short distance away Chionochloa sps ,(snow tussocks), are thriving.

Thanks! You say stunted specimens of Celmisia, I would have been happy to grow any Celmisia! So far all I have tried have succumbed to death in after a year or two.

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

Dave, a few years ago I was only aware of a couple of Aciphyllas and Celmisias. Now you have opened my eyes to a much richer world of plants! And also many other plants I didn't know exist.
I once grew a very nice Aciphylla for several years, I've forgotten the species' name - seed from Thompson & Morgan - but suddenly it succumbed to rot. I was very disappointed :'(
Is it possible to ask, if you come across some seeds on your wanderings in the mountains, to collect some for me?

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Last lot from yesterday :)

On depleted vegetative ridges ..

A lovely small Aciphylla sps which i haven't yet identified.

Brachyglottis bellidioides can be quite variable --this one is a dark green leafed form .

Craspedia lanata ,( it's common name is most appropriate --"woolly head"  ;D), can either have yellow or white flowers.

Another snow melt plant --Ranunculus pachyrrhizus  -not the typical big colourful NZ Ranunculus sps   ;)  but a gem all the same.

Dracophyllum prostratum and Euphrasia revoluta prefer damp spongy sphagnum bogs.

Bulbinella angustifolia grows in profusion close to the bogs.

Astelia nivicola forms silvery bronze clumps some reaching over a metre in width .
Another 'good doer' in the garden here quickly bulking up , however in the wild i've never seen it in berry and my plants never set fruit .

Fields of Celmisia verbascifolia.

Finally Celmisa prorepens is very close to Celmisia densiflora,(which i've shown pictures of on previous postings ).The main differences being C.prorepens is green on both sides of it's leaves which are very sticky to the touch .Also C. prorepens tends to have quite wrinkly leaf margins.Where the two grow together all sorts of variations ? occur ,which leads to interesting discussions !! ; :D

Trond pleased you are enjoying the 'view'.

I do plan to be out in the field seed collecting time late Jan /Feb so will see what i can do.

In the meantime i have delayed my return to work for another week as the weather looks good for a 3 day visit over into Fiordland .....

Cheers dave.

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

Toole
Toole's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-07-02

Reposted as inadvertantly deleted when amending the post above.

A few more from a trip yesterday on the first day of the new year.

Celmisia lyallii is also known as the false spaniard,(false aciphylla)--you can see the similarities in the dagger like foliage.It doesn't flower reliably each season ,(seeming to have a number of continuous 'off' years),however currently the hills are full of blooming plants .

A small number of plants showed a yellow colouring to newly opened bud.

Scenery shot with a nice cloud formation.

Psychrophila obtusa numbers by the hundreds around snow banks.

Aciphylla lecomteii and visitor.
(will grow easily from cuttings and is a good performer in the garden here wedged into a rock crevice. --luckily i have only seen the Aciphylla weevel in the wild.....Later in the season, plants attacked can look very tatty.  

Cheers dave.

Invercargill
Bottom of the South Island New Zealand
Zone 8 maritime climate
1100mm,(40 in),rainfall p.a.
Nil snow cover

Hoy
Hoy's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

I never tire looking at your pics, Dave!
But am I right when I believe new Zealand has few red and blue flowered plants? Think I once read something about that.

Toole wrote:

Trond pleased you are enjoying the 'view'.

I do plan to be out in the field seed collecting time late Jan /Feb so will see what i can do.

In the meantime i have delayed my return to work for another week as the weather looks good for a 3 day visit over into Fiordland .....

Cheers dave.

That is very kind of you, thanks Dave.
So you can delay starting to work! I have to start Monday! But I prefere longer holidays in summer. (I am living in the Fjordland you know!)

Trond
Rogaland, Norway - with cool, often rainy summers  (29C max) and mild, often rainy winters (180 cm/year)!

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