The Serpentine Tablelands of Newfoundland

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Kelaidis
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Joined: 2010-02-03

What an amazing place, Todd: Utterly different form Colorado. I was beginning to think that everything was exotic and acid loving and strange, but when you showed the Armerica, I chuckled: it's the only member of the genus to grow in Colorado, although some class ours as Armeria scabra rather than ssp. labradorica.

Somehow, I don't think the Sarracenia would grow in my gravel garden, which is crispy right now (even the cacti are stressed!)

For every minion of the peaks there are a dozen steppe children growing in the dry Continental heart of all hemispheres still unknown to horticulture.

Boland
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-25

Lori you are right on noticing the slight greenish tint...peridotite is indeed green before it oxidizes to the rusty-orange.

Rick, peridotite is high in heavy metals like cadmium, nickel...some others I don't recall.  These elements are toxic to many plants.  The soil is also high in magnesium so has a basic pH...this is why some of the calcifile natives can survive here.  The hills are not really that high....there is about 1000 feet elevation gain from the base to the top of the plateau.  But the bleak climate ensures only the toughest plants can survive.  Bugs for the pitcher plants is generally not a problem.  Thankfully, there was always enough breeze that the flies were actually not that bad....at least I didn't have to use any fly repellent.

Panayoti, some areas of the serpentine are surprisingly dry, however, the Sarracenia grow in seepage areas...the surface may look dry but an inch under the gravel there is unseen running water.  Pinguicula and Drosera also grow in these wet gravels.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

Hoy
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-15

What a vey special landscape, Todd! Very interesting and the plants too! Some of them are common here but others you don't find at all.

We have the same mineral serpentine in Norway and the mother mineral olivine (a very important industrial mineral) with a special flora but it is often ecotypes of common plants.

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

Boland
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Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-25

We have many ecotypes of common plants on our serpentine as well, so we are not all that different in that regards.  Seems in the larger scheme of things, Newfoundland and Scandanavia are not that different in regards to the overall flora.

Todd Boland
St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada
Zone 5b
1800 mm precipitation per year

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