Identification: alpine wildflowers

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwest Native Plants' started by Tomina, Jul 15, 2011.

  1. Tomina

    Tomina Active Member 10 Years

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    Hello sharp eyes (and sharp memory) -

    These may be common to you - but I'm stumped. The lovely yellow was small, but not as small as a moss campion. Tufted or tussocks of growth, densely matted. This was at an elevation of just over 7000 feet, Cathedral Mountain in BC, near Keremeos. July 11, just a week or two after the snow was gone.

    The same environment for the little brown job that wants to be a flower???

    Your hints will be appreciated.

    Thx
     

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  2. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    The first is a Draba, possibly Draba alpina. I'm basing that on a comparison of images against the list of Draba species present for Cathedral in the UBC Herbarium database. However, given the few records, I doubt the herbarium has a comprehensive listing of all species present, so it could be something else.

    The second is perhaps a Penstemon, likely Penstemon procerus.
     
  3. Tomina

    Tomina Active Member 10 Years

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    Thanks ever so much. I had stared and stared at a photo of a draba plant in one book when up there, but it just was not the right variety. Draba alpina indeed it is!

    So as to the penstemon, I take it this is a young version that would later have the more typical blue/purple flower! Excellent.
     
  4. togata57

    togata57 Generous Contributor 10 Years

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    Could 3 be a rupicolous/lithophytic orchid...?

    Nice array of lichen on the rock behind the mystery plant.
     
  5. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Paragon of Plants UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Yes, young Penstemon procerus have that scrunched up, scruffy look to the inflorescences when young.

    2 and 3 are photographs of the same plant; I think it is (somewhat) visible in the second photograph from the side that the leaves are opposite, ruling out any of the orchids likely to be found here. And, not sure if this is a good way of describing it, but overall, I'd expect an orchid to have a "cleaner" look -- with the leaves emerging in an orderly manner and regularly spaced, even when looked at from above (as in photo 3)
     
  6. Tomina

    Tomina Active Member 10 Years

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    yes, I did think photos 2 & 3 were of the same plant when I took the photos! I had seen several around, in various stages, and number 3 just seemed the prettiest and was in a good spot to photograph. Later, looking at my photos at home, I was no longer sure it was the same photo! As with togat15, the other plant enthusiast, I thought it somewhat exotic and that it might be something entirely different!

    The occasion was a good learning opportunity - to see plants and flowers earlier in their development than I am usually able to view them in the wild.
     

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