User talk:Wsiegmund/Archive/2008/9

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Erigeron compositus

Hi Walter,

I noticed your new photos of this species from Olympia Park. Very nice! So, you had to go to +5000 ft to see those in Northern USA? The individual you have there looks quite differently from the ones I have photographes. the ones I saw were much larger, I guess 20 cm high or so, whereas your individual seems to be much smaller. Also the proportions of the flowers are somewhat different, and I went to double check my Greenlandic flora book to check out if I had identified my observations correctly. However, there are only five different species of Erigeron in Greenland and the compositus is quite distinct from the others, so I guess it should be OK. My book also says the plant should be 10-20 cm tall.

I guess there are two reasons for the differences:

  1. The individual you spotted is appparently early in its flowering period?
  2. The ones I saw were at a roadside in a town, where I suspect some polluted (nutritious) water is present, thus giving rise to larger individuals.

Was it growing at a dry and relatively shining spot?

Again, it was a pleasant surprise to see other contributions of this nice flower. Thank you for sharing them with Commons. -- Slaunger (talk) 21:02, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

Hi Kim;
It is a pleasure to hear from you. It is possible that I didn't identify my plant correctly. However, I checked Buckingham (ISBN 0295952733 ) just now and E. compositus has been reported from the north subalpine region of the Olympic Peninsula where I found my plant. Also, it appears on a plant list for Deer Park.[1] The only other Erigeron they report is E. peregrinus, from which it is easily distinguished. Hitchcock (p. 516, ISBN 9780914019381) says "best developed lvs gen 1-3 times ternate; rocky places at moderate to high elev in mts". That description seems to fit. Our University of Washington plant website says this species is 3-25 cm tall. The pictures look similar to mine, also.[2] My guess is there are regional variations. Do you have photos of the leaves and involucral bracts?
  • I think it would be early in the flowering period since only one disk flower seems to be open. Most of other flowers were unopened.
  • My memory is that it was on the south or west side of a rock outcropping, at its base, and exposed to full sun.
  • My thumbnail is 16 mm across, so the flower stalk is about 5 cm high (Image:Erigeron compositus 6276.JPG).
With geocoding, it should be possible to take pictures later in the season another year. Perhaps I can get it in fruit.
Thanks for your interest and encouragement. I enjoy looking at your pictures from the other side of the continent. Thank you for them. --Walter Siegmund (talk) 22:57, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
Hi Walter,
Thanks for your thorough reply. It seems pretty evident that its all Erigon compositus. The differences seem to due to regional variances, that we are at different stages in the flowering period, and perhaps differing nutrition levels. At the urban Greenland location water from households are let out in the open terrain (from kitchens and washing), which gives, at places, anomalously large planst as compared to non-urban environments, except for places where nutrition levels are high, close to , e.g., birds colonies, animal carcases, etc. Very interesting though to see such a large different in size. No, I do not think I have photos of leaves, etc. I only saw them at one location, and there it was in a dense cluster as can be seen on my photos. Cheers. -- Slaunger (talk) 20:35, 13 September 2008 (UTC)