Bright red sprouts! Is this a hemiparasitic species ??

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Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04
Bright red sprouts! Is this a hemiparasitic species ??

I photographed these new shoots emerging at the base of a clump of Whitebark pine(Pinus albicaulis). The location is Alpine County, CA, USA. On the trail from Carson Pass to Winnemucca Lake. We had just passed Frog Lake the elevation was in the region of 8600' (2 621m). I feel it may be a hemiparasitic species due to it's late emergence. This plant was just emerging in late July.
The bright red caught my eye right away.

The second shot is of a sprout that is in leaf and bud.

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

It puts me in mind of Asclepias... the leaf venation, particularly.  I can't tell definitively from the photos if the leaves are opposite or not... but I get the sense that they are opposite... ?

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

Weiser, your plant looks like plants here when sprouting still covered by snow. When the snow cover melts the shoots have exactly this red and yellow color. Maybe a late melted heap of snow there?
I do not think it is a hemiparasitic plant though, but I can't swear on it.

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

Skulski wrote:

It puts me in mind of Asclepias... the leaf venation, particularly.  I can't tell definitively from the photos if the leaves are opposite or not... but I get the sense that they are opposite... ?

But the flower buds don't seem to be arranged in umbels...

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

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

Okay.  Hmmm, Apocynum, was my next guess... but those sheathed emerging stems are curious and I don't think they fit with dogbane. 

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

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

Thank you all for taking a stab at this. I wish I had picked a leaf to see if it had milky sap. With all the hiking I do I will probably run across this one again. I have a good freind who takes a lot of photos for the USDA Data Base, the Jepson Manual and Calflora I will see if he is willing to venture a guess. Again thank you all for your input.

John

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Weiser
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-12-04

From the High Desert Steppe
of the Great Basin and the Eastern
Escarpment of the Sierra Nevada Range
Located in Reno/Sparks,NV  zone 6-7
http://www.flickr.com/photos/sierrarainshadow/
John P Weiser

Mark McD
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-12-14

Oh man, I was chasing this down myself, I love a good mystery, and was exploring both Polygonum and Rumex, and believe it or not Paeonia californica (based on John's 1st photo, but the second photo shows more developed leaves which told me it wasn't that, but one starts imagining things when doing these ID puzzles).

Great detective work John!  The next to last Calphoto showing the sprouts of Polygonum davisiae nails the ID.

Mark McDonough
Massachusetts, USA, near the New Hampshire border USDA Zone 5
antennaria at aol.com
 

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

Yes, Polygonum make sense. I do not know the American species but it reminds me of those growing here. The commonest is P. viviparum (syn. Bistorta vivipara) with edible rhizomes and bulblets.

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

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