Southern Limestone barrens in Newfoundland

Submitted by Boland on Sun, 06/19/2011 - 16:29

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 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.


Submitted by Boland on Sun, 06/19/2011 - 16:31

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.

Submitted by Boland on Sun, 06/19/2011 - 16:49

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!

Submitted by Boland on Sun, 06/19/2011 - 16:58

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!

Submitted by Lori S. on Sun, 06/19/2011 - 18:14

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!

Submitted by cohan on Mon, 06/20/2011 - 00:00

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

Submitted by RickR on Mon, 06/20/2011 - 00:07

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!

Submitted by Hoy on Mon, 06/20/2011 - 16:10

At least this part of Newfoundland looks very different from the eastern part you have showed before, Todd. And what a flora! Strange what differences limestone makes for the assortment of plants.