Kamchatka Rhododendron

Rhododendron camtschaticum Pall.

This is a woody low-growing shrub with branches 2" to 12" tall. The branches are covered with grayish brown bark and bear dark green, oblong to obovate leaves. Leaves are red edged with fine hairs along the margins. Flowers are a deep rose purple; the five bright petals encircle ten long curving filaments, and the even longer style. The sepals are reddish and covered with fine hairs. In the fall the leaves turn ruddy orange and the flowering stems dry stiff. The blossoms drop but the five sepals remain like a star around the dry oblong seed capsule. The long style persists, curling out from the tip of the capsule.

Kamchatka rhododendron is a lovely and showy flower that covers hillsides and steep slopes. It is a beautiful plant for drying and pressing; the glowing magenta petals dry a dark purple.

Range:

From Japan and Kamchatka, throughout the Aleutian Islands; scattered populations along the Pacific coast of Alaska.

This is a common, low-growing evergreen shrub that forms a dense ground cover, with branches usually 2" to 7" tall. The tiny leaves are needlelike, short, narrow and stiff, and densely whorled around the stems. The pale yellow urn-shaped blossoms are borne in clusters from the tips of the branches. The fruit is a small dry capsule.

Aleutian heather covers vast areas of the island, blanketing hillsides and slopes. As are many members of the heath family, it is evergreen, and the leaves are tolerant of freezing. As an evergreen, its energy demands are lower than those of deciduous plants. The older leaves store food, and extensive new leaf growth is not needed every year.

Range:

Japan, Kamchatka, throughout the Aleutian Islands, along the Pacific coast of Alaska.

Club-Moss Mountain Heather

Cassiope lycopodioides (Pall.) D. Don

Club-Moss Mountain Heather

Cassiope lycopodioides (Pall.) D. Don

This heather is a low-growing plant with delicate, trailing mosslike branches. The tiny oval leaves are tightly pressed against the branches and overlap like scales in four rows, giving the thin branches a squared look. The branches, including the leaves, are less than Vs" wide. The delicate flowers hang singly from the tips of red, threadlike pedicels, which emerge upright near the tips of the branches. The flowers are small, white, bell-shaped, and a mere W" long.

This plant grows rather sparsely at upper elevations, in the dry tundra of slopes and knolls, often among lingonberry (Vaccinium vitis-idea) and alpine bearberry (Arctostaphylos alpina).

Range:

Japan, Kamchatka, throughout the Aleutians, Pacific coast of Alaska.

Other species:

Cassiope stelleriana (Pall.) DC

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment