Pedicularis

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Peter George
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-03

In my research on the genus Pedicularis, I discovered that one of the commonest 'associations' is a member of the genus Salix. Lori's photo above shows a Pedicularis and I believe it's growing with one or more Salix plants. So what I'm going to do is set out some of my seed in an area of the garden where I'm growing an unnamed Salix from Newfoundland. It will be interesting to see what happens.

Peter George, Petersham, MA (north central MA, close to the NH/VT borders), zones 5b and 6 around the property.

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

I found out that at least some Pedicularis species are hemiparasitic on Dryas roots. Also species in the Ericaceae family (particularly Vaccinium), Carex, Betula and Salix are important. It seems Vaccinium species are mentioned as the most important hosts. (Macinnes 1972, Canada)

http://www.arc-da.no/terrok/08/8.html

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

penstemon
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-06-24

Hmm. I could almost read the Norwegian. (I can read German.)
I've seen "little red elephants" or "elephant heads" (Pedicularis groenlandica) growing at the edges of seeps along the high mountain passes here, with orchids, etc., but never noticed an association with other plants.
If they're like castilleja, the hemiparasitic nature means that the seed can be sown in pots without a host plant, but may need to be planted out next to a host.
I've also heard that it really doesn't matter what the host plant is (with castilleja).

Bob

Bob

extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C

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

In these parts, I don't tend to see Pedicularis groenlandica in the alpine zone much, and I think of it as being largely more montane to subalpine-ish...   I do see it in the subalpine, where springs emerge, where there is a dense growth and high number of of other species, and along lake shores where again there is heavy plant growth, and also along river and streams where there may be relatively few other species in the gravelly bank.  
Here it is, for example, in a rich subalpine area where springs provide moisture:

P. bracteosa also seems to be more subalpine-montane here also, again in wet areas generally with lots of other plant growth:
   

I've only seen P. contorta around here in the alpine zone and in snowier areas, where there is nonetheless, a fairly good plant growth with a few different species... certainly in areas where Dryas, Salix and alpine Carex grow:
 

It seems to me that Vaccinium ssp. tend to be in the forest understory here, rather than out in the flowery subalpine or alpine meadows where Pedicularis hang out... although I guess I could see an association happening between, say, P. bracteosa and Vaccinium in montane forest clearings?
So,what to make of it all????

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

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

Nold wrote:

Hmm. I could almost read the Norwegian. (I can read German.)

Bob

If you can read German then Norwegian isn't that difficult ;) You just mix English and German ;D

Lori wrote:

So,what to make of it all????

Whenever I lay my hands on Pedicularis seed I prefere to sow in situ. Seems that many species can use different taxa as hosts. I disperse the seed on different subsrates hoping that at least one site is to its preference.

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

penstemon
Title: Member
Joined: 2010-06-24

I'm beginning to think that sowing in situ is the best way to go for almost everything, if you have no greenhouse. Certainly, I would say, for astragalus and other fabaceous species. (i know this is heresy.)
And in the case of hemiparasites I would say that they surely have a better chance of getting established being sown in situ. Less opportunity for maladjustment to the hemiparasitic life, you might say.

Bob

Bob

extreme western edge of Denver, Colorado; elevation 1705.6 meters, average annual precipitation 30cm; refuses to look at thermometer if it threatens to go below -17C

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