Alberta Wanderings

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cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks, Mark! I have plenty to learn myself, didn't even know it was native...lol.. If I manage to get some fresh seed, I will keep you in mind-the problem with the site with smaller plants is that its a hefty bike ride, and those seem to ripen seed so late that riding conditions may not be so good...lol .. but who knows, I may find a closer spot? I'd like to try growing both- its quite possible the large plant is just older and/or in a better site etc

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Another plant portrait- actually from just up the road from the small Gentiana above- this road has a slightly different flora than most of the sites around here I have botanised- I will do a feature on it when I get the albums done...
Meanwhile, here is a plant I have yet to identify, even though I have sent seed to a number of folks overseas! It feels like an Erigeron to me, though I have not yet been able to say which one-- it is smaller than most of the other local species, and though it has small stem leaves, it has clear basal rosette clumps through flowering, unlike most of the other locals.. The flowers are a bit pinker than appears in the photos, and all the same colour, no whites as some washed out shots appear.. it grows on banks at the sides of the roadside ditches- theoretically these spots could be quite dry at times (though again, the ditch bottoms, not far away are always damper, and nothing was dry around here the last couple of summers!).. you can see it in one or two shots growing with Oxytropis monticola, and Dasiphora (Potentilla) fruticosa among others..
I forgot to add, its about 30cm tall (flowering stems)..
EDIT: See below, I'm going to go out on a limb and call this Erigeron glabellus

   

       

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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

That one looks familiar ;)  I gave my opinion on this plant's ID in the "Roadside Plant" topic:
http://nargs.org/smf/index.php?topic=972.msg14527#msg14527

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks, Mark- I agree the flowers look a lot like Erigeron philadelphicus, which I believe occurs here (I have not keyed out the several spp that look like that, which are quite common here), but I think if i am interpreting the Flora correctly, philadelphicus should be a taller plant (though height is variable in all of these) without the significant persistent basal leaves shown by these plants- which actually showed an even fuller clump of basal rosettes at the end of the season when I was collecting seed..

So, going back to the Flora of Alberta again, narrowing down from the 24 species of Erigeron in Alberta- several are alpine species, so they are out; several annual/biennial- out, since these plants have those well-developed basal rosettes after flowering, clearly not monocarpic; those not having pink/purple flowers, out; the remaining relevant characters seem to be persistent basal leaves, eliminating a couple more which do not; whether cauline leaves are reduced- this seems to  eliminate E peregrinus, which was at first glance a good bet; and finally number of ray flowers- while I definitely did not count them! these plants have a lot of them, which again seemed to rule out peregrinus, which has fewer (giving a more aster-like look to the flowers).. I am left with Erigeron glabellus -while I wont swear that's right, it seems a pretty good fit, and is widespread on the map (if anything, too much so, making me wonder why I have only found it in this one limited area-- a number of plants over about a mile or so on one road) and listed habitat type in the Flora is also about right...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

Hoy
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Joined: 2009-12-15

Cohan, I do not recognize your species but it seems to occupy the same habitat that Gentiana pneumonanthe does here. It is not common and I have only seen it 2-3 times. It is always a pleasure to find it!

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks, Trond! This gentian is lovely- I do love all the other members of the family which are more common here too, and I'll show them soon-- the subtle but lovely Halenia deflexa and Gentianella amarella are everywhere, and the very showy Gentianopsis crinita I have found in a number of places..

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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

cohan wrote:

I am left with Erigeron glabellus -while I wont swear that's right, it seems a pretty good fit, and is widespread on the map (if anything, too much so, making me wonder why I have only found it in this one limited area-- a number of plants over about a mile or so on one road) and listed habitat type in the Flora is also about right...

Cohan, I think you nailed the ID, good sleuthing!  Just took a loot at images of E. glabellus and it is indeed a good fit. I'm not familiar with this attractive species.  Checking the USDA Plant Profile pages, it seems that in your area it would be var. pubescens.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ERGL2

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks, Mark-- this is my favourite local Erigeron (foliage and size wise- all the flowers are nice) in my near area- until you get into the foothills/mts and the nice small species start.. I collected seed (2010)and didnt get any sown, will be trying to see if its still viable this spring..
Flora of Alberta mentions that 'our area' if you can call Alberta an area! - "ssp. glabellus, with short, appressed pubescence, the leaves essentially glabrous, and ssp. pubescens with coarse, spreading, septate hairs throughout" frankly I'm not sure what kind of hairiness that describes! more glossary time needed...lol.. No suggestion of whether those two ssp. are in different places, or just random variations ... The plants I photographed seem mostly smooth apart from hairs around the edge of the leaves, so not sure where that places them...

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

I found one more album of shots from Alhambra Road (where the small Gentianas and Erigeron above were shot)- the last album was the third week in August, and I was commenting on the Gentianas still being in flower (they were) and not seed yet - really I was thinking of this visit- late Sept is very late in our season! and the Gentianas were still not in seed-- Although the Erigeron seed was finally ripe- quite late compared to other species in the genus around here......I wasn't able to get back after this, so don't know if the Gentiana ever ripened ....

Erigeron glabellus

     

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

cohan
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Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Same day, Sept 22, 2010, same place- Alhambra Road (not the official name, its the road through the town of Alhambra), about 12-14 miles or so from home..
At this time, there had definitely been frosts- in fact there was snow the day before this botanising bike ride! The Gentiana affinis still had not ripened seed, though some seemed close, other plants were still in flower, as were its cousins Gentianopsis crinita, growing beside (not pictured here)...
Notice the wide variation in leaf shapes and fall colour.. these plants are quite pretty in their fall shades, even the faded flowers very picturesque.. again, these are small plants, prob 10-20cm....

 

 

     

       

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F; http://picasaweb.google.ca/cactuscactus  http://urbanehillbillycanada.blogspot.com/

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