Southern Limestone barrens in Newfoundland

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Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25
Southern Limestone barrens in Newfoundland

Just got back from 4 days of meetings on the Port-au-Port peninsula of western Newfoundland. We were specifically looking at the population of Hedysarum boreale...it was just listed as a Species at Risk in Newfoundland. The plants are restricted to this little outlier of our limestone barrens..there are about 600 plants. Here are some scenes from this special part of Newfoundland.

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

Mid-June and there are plenty of alpines open...Anemone parviflora here have quite blue reverse on the petals and some have fine speckling I've never seen on more northern plants.  Also Arnica lonchophylla were just starting.

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

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

However, the best plants were the thousands of Cypripedium parviflorum!  They even grew in pure limestone gravel.

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

Boland
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Dryas integrifolia, Hedysarum boreale, maianthemum stellatum var. crassum, Minuartia rubella

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

Boland
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Oxytropis campestris var. terrae-novae, Physaria arctica, Pinguicula vulgaris

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

Boland
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Potentilla nivea, Potentilla taebermontana, Primula laurentiana and an unknown Primula.  This last one is often called P. mistassinica alba but our population of this mysterious primrose is always white with 2-3 flowers (we do have typical mistassinica as well).  Chatting with other botanists we are beginning to believe this species was never described!

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

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

Only three species of arctic willow grow this far south...S. glauca, S. uva-ursi and S. vestita.

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

Boland
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Joined: 2009-09-25

I found the mother of all Silene acaulis...see the toonie as a size comparison.  Also found a huge alba form.  And I'll end with Saxifraga paniculata var. labradorica and Viola labradorica....I think I see a Rock Garden Quarterly article in the making!

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

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

A great insight into that area for us, Todd!  It looks like a beautifully rugged and windswept area... (yet it must have been calm, as your photos are so clear?)  Funny how many of the plants are common to the Rockies, and that Hedysarum boreale is common and widespread here yet at risk there.  Is that due to natural reasons (e.g. small remnant population remaining from post-glaciation)?
Love the cyps... isn't it wonderful to come across these colonies at just the peak of bloom?
I am struck by Minuartia rubella - very dainty yet with flower power!
Really nice to see the willows... (must try to memorize the features of S. glauca and S. vestita for hikes later on).

Re. the primula, this could be your chance to get your name on a species!  :o  :)

Beautiful photos!

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

cohan
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Joined: 2011-02-03

Looks like an amazing place! Those cliffs certainly fit with our view of Newfoundland--everything past the cliffs is a bit fuzzy for me!

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Thanks for the great photos, Todd!  I can imagine how windswept a place like that must be.  I'll bet it was that pleasant, even at this time of year.  But, the plant life sure makes it all worth it!

Rick Rodich    zone 4a.    Annual precipitation ~24 inches
near Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA

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