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Author Topic: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'  (Read 22323 times)

Ragged Robin

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2010, 11:36:25 AM »
Ashley, I'm so enjoying your view of this wild wilderness and, through your photos and writings, reading and absorbing a lot about the plants, their habitat, characteristics and properties. It's great that this thread will be saved as a resource to return to and enjoy.  Your style is very user-friendly  :D

I have to say that the Aconitum lycoctonum ssp.septentrionale is quite stunning in its dusky beauty and your studies of Ranunculus growing in Sarek are wonderful.
Valais, Switzerland - 1,200 metres - Continental climate - rocks and moraine

Paddy Tobin

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2010, 12:19:35 PM »
Well, there's Cliff Booker happy - he has had his fix of ranunculus!

Great stuff, Ashley.

Paddy
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Stephenb

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2010, 09:01:46 PM »
71*-73   Aconitum lycoctonum ssp.septentrionale is restricted to valleys, not very widespread but sometimes locally common.  Above the treeline proper it is usually found in the comparative shelter of rocks, willow thickets or stands of the fern Athyrium distentifoliumIf anyone grows this form and ever has spare seed Id love to try a little.

Not sure which form you are referring to, but ssp septentrionale is the common form around here with violet flowers. It's more common at higher elevations, but I have found it a few places lower down. I can keep a look out for seed when I'm out mushrooming later on in the season ;)
Stephen
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Graham Catlow

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2010, 09:09:19 PM »
Thanks very much Maggi.




71*-73   Aconitum lycoctonum ssp.septentrionale is restricted to valleys, not very widespread but sometimes locally common.  Above the treeline proper it is usually found in the comparative shelter of rocks, willow thickets or stands of the fern Athyrium distentifoliumIf anyone grows this form and ever has spare seed Id love to try a little.

If anyone grows this form and ever has spare seed Id love to try a little.[/
Wouldn't we all :D
Its really unusual.

Graham



Bo'ness. Scotland

ashley

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2010, 10:59:11 PM »
Again, thanks everyone for your interest and comments.  
Robin the dusky colour of Aconitum lycoctonum ssp.septentrionale is unusual and rather attractive isn't it? 8)
so yes please Stephen, if you can collect some seed I'd appreciate it :)

Now continuing ...

Rosaceae
81   Potentilla crantzii is not very abundant in Sarek but grows here and there in valleys or on old moraines, usually in rock crevices or among short grass in well-drained open sites.
82*   Potentilla palustris as the name implies is restricted to wet areas, and at lower altitude.  Although I found it only outside Sarek proper, on the west side of the hkk range, it should also grow below the treeline within the Park in valleys such as Rapadalen.   A poor picture unfortunately, from 2009.

Rubus arcticus is another member of the Rosaceae found mainly below the treeline.  I saw it flowering in Sarek near Rinim, in moist shade of woodland dominated by Betula pubescens.  Its berries are said to be delicious although I have yet to try them.

83   Rubus chamaeomorus or cloudberry is locally common in open boggy areas, again mainly in valleys.  The large white flowers are followed by red berries that gradually fade to an apricot colour as they ripen.  These too are considered a delicacy throughout the northern countries.
84   Sibbaldia procumbens grows higher up, preferring damp areas such as those taking runoff from snowfields.  Specialised snowbed plants like this are probably most vulnerable to, and act as indicators of, global warming that allows more vigorous vegetation to encroach on their habitat.

Salicaceae   
85   Salix herbacea is a creeping willow also typical of damp places at higher altitude, such as below snowfields or on recently exposed moraine where it avoids competition from taller vegetation.  Various willow extracts, containing the aspirin precursor salicylic acid, have long been used for treatment of pain and inflammation.
86   Salix myrsinites (identified by Panu)  This rather handsome plant is up to 30 cm tall so perhaps too big for S. polaris.  In Sarek it is widespread in valleys though not especially abundant.  
87-89   Salix lanata (confirmed by Panu) ? Again, ID uncertain.  Woolly-type willows of various size and leaf shape are common in the valleys and on lower slopes.  Some of these may be hybrids.
90   Salix glauca (identified by Panu), another common one in damp areas of valleys but Im not sure what it is.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2010, 01:12:57 PM by ashley »
Ashley Allshire, Cork, Ireland

ashley

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2010, 12:17:57 AM »
Saxifragaceae
91,92   Saxifraga aizoides is not widespread in Sarek but can form substantial colonies, either wet along stream edges (91) or on damp moraine (92) in valleys.  As the flowers go over they uniformly turn a soft orange, making it look almost like a different plant.
93   Saxifraga cernua also prefers damp areas but grows at higher levels too, for example in seepage areas below snowfields or on recently exposed moraine.  Its 10-25 cm scapes carry mainly clusters of reddish bulbils, with usually a single large flower at the tip.
94,95   Saxifraga cespitosa is found higher up, near glacial streams or in damp patches on newly exposed moraine.
96   Saxifraga oppositifolia is locally common in Sarek on recently exposed moraines near glaciers but I also found it occasionally on old moraines in valleys and even on the exposed Sarektjkk ridge (2) at about 2,000 m.  Very spectacular in a rocky setting.  Although it begins flowering very early in the season, this year most plants were still in full bloom in late July.     
97   Saxifraga rivularis as the name implies favours damp areas, usually open stony sites at higher altitude where it can be locally common near streams or below snowfields or glaciers.
98   Saxifraga stellaris is probably the most widespread saxifrage in Sarek, occurring in damp areas of valleys, slopes and sometimes rock fields at higher levels.

Scrophulariaceae
99,100   Bartsia alpina is widespread and common at lower altitude, where it is a hemiparasite on grasses.  Its leaf litter has been suggested to promote plant diversity in the vicinity by increasing the availability of scarce nutrients.  There's more information about this species here.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2010, 12:08:11 AM by ashley »
Ashley Allshire, Cork, Ireland

ranunculus

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2010, 05:53:25 AM »
More wonderful images, Ashley ... you are doing the area proud!
Cliff Booker
Behind a camera in Whitworth. Lancashire. England.

Luc Gilgemyn

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2010, 08:14:27 AM »
What an area ....  :o :o
Flabbergasting report Ashley !

If this were a rock concert, I guess the crowd would now be shouting "We want more... We want more...."

Luc Gilgemyn
Harelbeke - Belgium

Lvandelft

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2010, 09:27:04 AM »
Ashley, Im enjoying your pictures of an area where I most likely never will come, really much.
Terrific landscapes there.
Surprised by all these alpines you found there. That must have been very exciting to find a white Loiseleuria, which Ive never heard of before 8)
I remember once, after 4 hours walking, finding a white Rhodo ferrugineum :)
Luit van Delft, right in the heart of the beautiful flowerbulb district, Noordwijkerhout, Holland.

Sadly Luit died on 14th October 2016 - happily we can still enjoy his posts to the Forum

ian mcenery

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #39 on: August 26, 2010, 09:51:43 AM »
Great job Ashley !  :o
Terrific thread, well worth to be found amongst the threads not to be missed !!  :D :D
Don't let this stop you though...  ;D

Ashley I have only just found this thread but better late than never. It looks a fantastic place and presumably you were not short of daylight. It is great subject and very educational thank you

Ian McEnery Sutton Coldfield  West Midlands 600ft above sea level

Panu

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #40 on: August 26, 2010, 11:22:48 AM »
Id say
86) Salix myrsinites
90) S. glauca
and the lanata is correct

ashley

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #41 on: August 26, 2010, 01:06:49 PM »
Thanks very much Panu.
Ashley Allshire, Cork, Ireland

Paddy Tobin

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #42 on: August 26, 2010, 01:24:36 PM »
Ashley,

Aren't the willows beautiful? Also the saxifraga oppositifolia, a lovely plant and photograph.

Great report.

Paddy
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ashley

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #43 on: August 27, 2010, 12:04:38 AM »
I'm very glad you are all enjoying it.
Some more:

Scrophulariaceae (continued)
101   Euphrasia frigida is also a hemiparasite, though not an obligatory one, and unusual here because it is an annual.  It is restricted to damp open or disturbed areas where it can establish.  Annuals are uncommon at high latitude and/or altitude because the generally low temperatures and short, unpredictable growing season limit seed production and seedling development.  Consequently these habitats tend to be dominated by perennials that reproduce mainly vegetatively.   The plant shown here was growing with the grass Festuca ovina and Astragalus alpina, both common host species.

102   Melampyrum sylvaticum grows below the treeline, as the name implies.  It is another facultative hemiparasitic annual that assimilates inorganic nitrogen poorly so grows better when it can take organic nitrogen from a host plant like Cornus suecica to support nitrogen-intensive synthesis of photosynthetic pigments.  Hemiparasitic plants usually transpire faster than their host plants and therefore draw water from them, bringing dissolved nutrients too.  Although the plant shown here grew in birch-dominated open woodland it was surrounded by Pinguicula so perhaps its nitrogen came second hand from mosquitos, or even third hand from the blood of passing animals like myself :o

103   Pedicularis lapponica is a perennial hemiparasite with wide host specificity, like Bartsia alpina (99,100).  It is common in Sarek, growing not only in valleys but also quite high up well-vegetated damp slopes & sometimes in large colonies.  Further information about this species is available here

104,105   Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum is the third of these perennial hemiparasitic species in Sarek, but found in wet areas at or below the treeline.  It is a striking plant even when not in flower, on account of its purple-brown foliage rosettes.

106   Veronica alpina is quite widespread in valleys and on lower slopes in damp grassy areas or near streams, usually singly but occasionally in small groups.

Violaceae
107   Viola biflora ssp. alpina is locally common, often in damp, part-shaded sites such as rock crevices or north-facing slopes where the soil is rich in humus and deep snow cover provides good winter protection. 

Woodsiaceae
108-110   Athyrium distentifolium is one of the most dramatic and I think beautiful plants in Sarek, easily identifiable even from a distance because of its bright green foliage and luxurious, feathery growth.  It forms extensive colonies on lower slopes above the treeline, along streams or seeps as well as in damp rocky areas.  Besides the usual form (108, 31), I came across several attractive variants with markedly narrower (109) or broader (110) leaflets.
Ashley Allshire, Cork, Ireland

cohan

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Re: 'Western Europe's last wilderness'
« Reply #44 on: August 27, 2010, 02:38:39 AM »
lots of cool stuff, esp love the pedicularis (-es? -i?)

 


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