Alberta Wanderings

157 posts / 0 new
Last post
cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

I wasn't sure if there would be much plant activity so early (there was still snow around, and other places where it had clearly melted recently) but I was hoping-- on a visit about a month later last year, there were things that had already finished flowering...
I was to be pleasantly surprised...

full album: https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/AlbertaRockyMountainsMay312011...

The most conspicuous plant at this time was Arctostaphylos (Arctous) rubra visible for some distance on the nearly bare gravel (some things not yet leafed out, or barely emerging)...

 

This is very funny-- on previous visites, I had admired the good sized mats of this plant, admiring this stemless (or nearly) willow with the beautiful leaves! I was never early enough till now to see flowers, nor apparently was I ever there at the right time for berries! So when I saw the sweet little creamy urn flowers, I was quite stunned... Of course to see it at this season must be among its finest moments, the spring colour was glorious... I have not been there for fall colour ( though I saw some Arctous in fall colour once across the parking lot, must have been A alpina, much smaller leaves, and I had not realised there were two alpine species, so never thought to question this plant)..
I now really want to grow this!

     

Some plants were later, with only flowers, leaves not yet showing, or just starting...

 

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

Allison
Allison's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2010-04-08

What a fabulous plant! And you ought to be able to grow it where you are, don't you think? I don't suppose I can grow it here.... even if seeds were available.  :(

Gardening on a wooded rocky ridge in the Ottawa Valley, Canada. Cold winters (-30C) and hot, humid summers. Nuts about native plants, ferns, pottery, my family, and Border Collies.

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks, I do love it too :) even in summer green the leaves are beautiful, now that I have seen spring colour and flowers, its even more wonderful, and probably looks great in fall too.. I'll be looking for seed sure.. unfortunately ( for me, not the place or plants!) this site is in a National Park, so no seed collecting possible (I might take one or two berries if there were tons of them, but that's in the unlikely event I get there at the right time!) , if I am lucky I might find it in the mountains outside the park, but not so many spots to easy access alpine areas there, I have to look into Mount Baldy, as I mentioned earlier, by Nordegg, much closer, but also drier mountains, so might be a very different flora...
Apart from that, I will be watching for it on seedlists! As for cultivation, I guess no way to know without trying!

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

Arctostaphylos rubra is a very handsome plant - and not unlike A. alpina, the only one native here. As you say, Cohan, you have to be early to catch it flowering but the berries last long and I can find berries in late Autumn (on alpina that is), presumeably rubra behave likevise ;D

Isn't it allowed to eat berries in the park? Then you can spit out some seeds ;)

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Technically, I don't know if you are allowed to eat berries or not! But I don't think anyone would be too upset if I ate one or two..lol.. still I may or may not get to that area in fall.. I will still try to find it somewhere else, its not an uncommon plant, I think, but all the other locations may also be in the parks or even farther away! lol

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
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

same site: https://picasaweb.google.com/cactuscactus/AlbertaRockyMountainsMay312011...

Another surprise from this site-- I must have been here when this was in fruit, or near it, but if I noticed it (possibly not, small and scattered) I don't remember, should dig through old trip photos and see if I shot it...
So, this sweet little Anemone sp (haven't dug much yet, and leaves not fully emerged to help id, but my only guess so far is A lithophila)..surely the flora of this site is well known, maybe I should check for a book in that big tourist centre across the road!!
All plants I saw at this stage were single, and all were in Arctostaphylos rubra mats (at another site up the road, to come, I saw it again, in Arctostaphylos uva-ursi--maybe these spp give it the soil chemistry it needs? didn't see them in Dryas or Salix, though the two sites I saw are hardly definitive)..

     

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

I have actually sowed Anemone lithophila this year and they germinated easily. However, if this is the kind of habitat they need I am not sure I ever manage to grow them :-\

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

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

I think your anemone looks more like A. parviflora.  I like the Arctous rubra... it must be one I've been overlooking too.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Thanks, Lori, my impression was that parviflora should have less divided leaves? I did read both descriptions, but maybe I missed or mis-read something; this one seems like the leaves will be very divided.. I'll see if I can dig up pics of both online, and re-read the descrips.. and check whether I photographed these by chance later in the season..

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

Lori S.
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-10-27

Somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I'd say your plant is A. parviflora, although, yes, A. parviflora does have the less divided leaves of the two.  What I see in your photo looks like the typical single-stem with the blunt-tipped, coarsely-divided ruff of stem leaves of A . parviflora; the relative size (small) and habit appear to fit.  (A. lithophila, in our area, have prominent bluish petal reverses - something to watch for.)
There are several photos of A. parviflora posted in this section of the forum, and also one or two of A. lithophila.

Lori
Calgary, Alberta, Canada - Zone 3
-30 C to +30 C (rarely!); elevation ~1130m; annual precipitation ~40 cm

Pages

Log in or register to post comments