Image of the day - 2012

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Tim Ingram
Title: Member
Joined: 2011-04-27

Something of a contrast to those marvellous pictures in the wild from Lori. I mentioned snowdrops a little earlier, and by way of a taster (all the highly expensive named varieties are still to start flowering) here is a picture of the common snowdrop, nivalis, flowering under our apple trees last February. My technique has been to bury nearly ripe seedpods (while still green) and the result is small 'tufts' of seedlings which have flowered in around three years, and produce a wonderful massed effect. These plants are ideally suited to the British climate and really keep our gardening going through the winter, along with hellebores, eranthis and even, at the moment, a few primroses!

Dr. Timothy John Ingram
Faversham, Kent, UK
I garden in a relatively hot and dry region (for the UK!), with an annual rainfall of around 25", winter lows of -10°C and summer highs of 30°C.
 

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

Hoy wrote:

Lori, very nice! Seems to be necessary with more than a raised sand bed to grow these ;D

I suspect that might be the minimum requirement in your very wet area, but the propects would naturally be much better here in our conditions.  Having said that, I haven't tried to grow Smelowskia here yet, but I did pick up a seedling of Rhodiola integrifolia at the local alpine plant sale last year.

Thanks for the comments, James.

James wrote:

Rhodiola integrifolia is a rare cliff plant in the Driftless area of Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  It also lives on cliffs along or near Lake Seneca in New York.  This is evidence of a much cooler past.  I always wondered why Midwestern and Eastern rock gardeners have not made attempts to get their local king's crown into regional gardens.  It is a beautiful plant.  Not only when flowing in Spring as your picture shows... but also with it's wonderful Fall color.

James

James, I believe the plant you refer to is Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi (as opposed to Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. integrifolia, which occurs here).  It is noted as occurring in Minnesota and New York, but if you feel you have seen it in Iowa and Wisconsin, it would probably be worth investigating further, and telling the local plant societies, etc. so that the possibility could be verified.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHINL
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=250092046

Note that there is also Rhodiola rosea (and there has been a vast amount of nomenclatural confusion over time between it and R. integrifolia) but it also does not seem to have been recorded from Iowa and Wisconsin:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=RHRO3
http://www.efloras.org/florataxon.aspx?flora_id=1&taxon_id=200009865

So, either way, it would certainly be of interest to check out.

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

Anonymous
Title: Guest

Lori wrote:

James, I believe the plant you refer to is Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi (as opposed to Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. integrifolia, which occurs here).  It is noted as occurring in Minnesota and New York, but if you feel you have seen it in Iowa and Wisconsin, it would probably be worth investigating further, and telling the local plant societies, etc. so that the possibility could be verified.

I have only seen Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi in New York.  I knew it also occurred in the Driftless Area.  This area includes all the states I mentioned.  However, I did not look up exactly where in the driftless area it had been found.  If they say it only exists in the Minnesota portion of the driftless region, then they are probably correct. 

Irregardless, it is still a plant worthy of cultivation.  Although, the protected status thing would make obtaining seeds difficult.  You would need a permit.  Even if Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi could not be obtained, I have grown the more common Roseroot from seed.  Roseroot is very similar and also beautiful.

James

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

James wrote:

I have grown the more common Roseroot from seed.  Roseroot is very similar and also beautiful.

James

Yes, very beautiful indeed!  There are a few photos of it here:
http://nargs.org/nargswiki/tiki-browse_gallery.php?galleryId=97&offset=0

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

RickR
Title: Moderator
Joined: 2009-09-21

James wrote:

Irregardless, it [Rhodiola integrifolia ssp. leedyi] is still a plant worthy of cultivation.  Although, the protected status thing would make obtaining seeds difficult. 

James

The subspecies in wild Minnesota grows only in very specific maderate cliffs1, and is known only from four locations (plus three -maybe- in New York).  Its status is endangered in Minnesota and is a Federally threatened taxon. I can't attest to the New York environments , but mimicking the Minnesota environment would be next to impossible in warm climates such as ours. 

1a very specialized habitat of specific strata where groundwater seeps through the rock and is cooled by air coming from underground air passages in karst topography. This results in a constantly wet, dripping condition, an unusual product of a long geological history.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selecte...

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

Anonymous
Title: Guest

RickR wrote:

I can't attest to the New York environments , but mimicking the Minnesota environment would be next to impossible in warm climates such as ours.  

1a very specialized habitat of specific strata where groundwater seeps through the rock and is cooled by air coming from underground air passages in karst topography. This results in a constantly wet, dripping condition, an unusual product of a long geological history.
http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selecte...

So keep it out of direct sun during the hot parts of the year and water it.  I am sure it is not that hard to grow.  It's still a Rhodiola.  

The only reason it is rare is because glaciers came down and wiped out most of the cliffs where it found refuge.  Wait a couple of Millena for erosion to re-carve gorges through the otherwise glacially bulldozed Midwest and this little Rhodiola will spread.  There is a large amount of potential habitat that it either does not occupy, or that just simply has not been searched.  At least this is true of the cliffs along the Finger Lakes.  

I'm surprised there has not been some effort to establish new colonies in the ample unoccupied habitat.  Efforts to establish new colonies would be easy and have a high probability of success.  Collect some seed, sow it on cool cliff faces and see what happens.

James
 

Boland
Boland's picture
Title: Member
Joined: 2009-09-25

Cohan, your Ribes does look like hudsonianum.  Mine is not a perfect fit but i could not find any other AB species that looks like the one I phootgraphed in SW Alberta.  Lori, do you have any insights? (Moderator note:  See Plants and Gardens - Woodies - Ribes for further on this topic.)

I saw Rhodiola integrifolia for the first time this past July while hiking in the Drywood Mountain area of SW Alberta (just outside Waterton Lakes).  Much small stature than R. rosea but exquisite all the same.

R. rosea is native in Newfoundland and always grows within reach of the ocean spray.  They can be quite robust.  Here is a clump growing near L'anse-aux-Meadows, the Viking Historical site in northern Newfoundland

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

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

Todd, natural rock garden perfection in that photo, gorgeous foliage :)

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

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

Note:  The discussion about Ribes has been moved to "Plants and Gardens - Woodies - Ribes" where it can continue with the focus it deserves!  :)
Lori

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

cohan
cohan's picture
Title: Guest
Joined: 2011-02-03

Lori wrote:

Here's a pretty Brassicacaea, Smelowskia calycina, in bloom in the first photo.  The second photo has the attractive foliage of Smelowskia calycina in the foreground, a colourful Rhodiola integrifolia in the center, and Saussurea nuda in bud at the back.

Really great grouping of plants in the second shot :)

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

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