Tofieldia coccinea

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

Cohan, did you get close enough to confirm those as black spruce?  I was thinking that it would not be my first guess... more like white spruce?  I don't see the characteristic clubby tops.  Stands of black spruce were common in our old stomping grounds of N. Sask., and in NE Alberta (which I visited last week).   White spruce are not adverse to moisture, and often line streams and ponds.  As you've noted, that area looks like an old borrow area, or at least something to do with highway construction, rather than a bog.

Todd, I'll have to make a note to visit Bow Valley Park in the spring... I have not spent much time there, and I have to admit we are usually just zipping past it on the way home from our hikes.  There doesn't tend to be marshy areas where we hike, so I'd guess we may not be in the right habitats for Tofieldia.

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

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

Lori--nope, I did not get/look closely enough to be at all sure of species, so i make no promises  ;D and it could well be different up there, but here, that is typical black spruce (mariana) habitat-- white-glauca, will grow to the edges of wet areas, but not generally right in them, apart from higher patches..
also the skinny, scruffy look of the trees is typical here of mariana...
The water continues farther back from the road, but I've never really looked well enough/or cant see from there-to know if there is a watercourse farther back, or..... the whole area has a tendency to dense, muskeggy forested ground interspersed with open water which goes on and on (seemingly for hours on the drive home..)--I can't imagine travelling there without the highway, apart from by river!

west central alberta, canada; just under 1000m; record temps:min -45C/-49F;max 34C/93F;

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

Cohan, nice photo series on Tofieldia glutinosa, a charming plant.

I don't know much about T. pusilla, so I googled and there is lots of information and photos.  Looks like a good addition to a miniature bog garden or container.

Tofieldia pusilla, Scotch false asphodel, Scottish asphodel

A few good information/photo pages on T. pusilla:
...quite a list of synonyms for this little plant:

Lots of good plants in this link, including the Tofieldia
...go about 1/3rd the way down, lots of interesting pics

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

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

We had T. pusilla in our BG but it was so small, it got lost.  As you note, probably better in a miniature bog garden.  The leaves along are only 1-2" so EASILY lost!

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

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

For more Tofiledia talk on T. pusilla, follow this link:

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


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