Plant Species?

Discussions about all wildlife, trees, plants, flowers, and geology

Plant Species?

New postby TobiasTicetonyk » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:38 pm

Does anyone know what species this is? The needles seem to grow perpendicular to the branches like fir, but the needles look like elongated hemlock needles. It's growth form is a bush/shrub and grows sprawling patches. I have noticed them in Stony Clove up the slopes of Plateau, and in immense quantities on the Twin slope in Pecoy Notch.
I'm embarrassed - after completing my undergraduate thesis on Catskill high elevation boreal biogeography, I come across this and a few other thingz up high and have no idea what's going on. :?

I can't think of any main plant associations I have noticed them with. They do grow at the thickest around Balsam fir, but do quite well in very thin soils under Sugar Maple in stony clove. I'm sure once I know the species I can figure out its main plant associations and ecosystem types...

Image

Image

This one is pretty blurry, but it still shows the surrounding area well... I think...
Image


Luckily my study was more about the geology, glaciers, soil, trees, herb, moss, and lichen. Not much discussion about the brush stratum besides hobblebush. Whatever species this is, I have never seen it on a boreal summit.

These look like they spread as clone colonies through roots, like Beech, but I'm not sure. I'm just basing that on the fact that all the sprouts seem to be growing from the ground at the same angle and direction in small areas. If propagated by seed however, they obviously germinate and establish well in thick leaf litter, unlike the commonly associated boreal ground stratum herbaceous species that can't germinate or grow under leaves and rely on the moss for nutrient support and water retention. I'l stop blabbering.
Last edited by TobiasTicetonyk on Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
TobiasTicetonyk
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:55 pm
Location: Wittenberg (Home) / Missoula (School)

Re: Plant Species?

New postby TobiasTicetonyk » Wed Jan 25, 2012 1:40 pm

Oh, and could a moderator move this so the plant, wildlife, and other stuff section?
User avatar
TobiasTicetonyk
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:55 pm
Location: Wittenberg (Home) / Missoula (School)

Re: Plant Species?

New postby mike » Wed Jan 25, 2012 10:42 pm

Without seeing them up close it is hard to make a definitive confirmation. It is possible that they might be a Yew. They look very similar to Hemlocks. Very hard to tell them apart. There are also many sub-species of Yews too. It is possible someone planted them many years ago, and they are still spreading. Yews are more described as shrubs, and they will grow like that.
User avatar
mike
 
Posts: 1426
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 9:20 pm
Location: Ravena, NY

Re: Plant Species?

New postby TobiasTicetonyk » Thu Jan 26, 2012 12:07 pm

mike wrote:Without seeing them up close it is hard to make a definitive confirmation. It is possible that they might be a Yew. They look very similar to Hemlocks. Very hard to tell them apart. There are also many sub-species of Yews too. It is possible someone planted them many years ago, and they are still spreading. Yews are more described as shrubs, and they will grow like that.


You're right, I'm pretty confident it's yew, but it seems more sprawled and not as dense as the cultivated variety. I find this tends to happen with ornamental needle leaved plants, we had the same thing happen to one of those conical white spruce trees, we never trimmed it and today its a full fledged white spruce with branches and all. Plants like to stretch out when they get the chance...
User avatar
TobiasTicetonyk
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:55 pm
Location: Wittenberg (Home) / Missoula (School)

Re: Plant Species?

New postby bousquet19 » Mon Apr 16, 2012 10:13 pm

Sounds like an interesting thesis, Tobias!

To me, the two-ranked needles match hemlock most closely, but the sprawling, radiating growth habit looks more like a native yew. Oh well. Any chance you remember what the needles' undersides look like? As I'll bet you know, hemlock needles have two white stripes beneath, while yew needles are yellow-green beneath.

Woody
User avatar
bousquet19
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 3:30 pm
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Re: Plant Species?

New postby kennykb » Wed Apr 25, 2012 4:00 pm

I'm not convinced that all your pictures are the same stuff.

Your first picture looks as if it could be Lycopodium clavatum, also known as common clubmoss or staghorn clubmoss, which is pretty common in the understory of the Catskills. The lycopods, or clubmosses, have a phylum unto themselves: they're not ferns, not mosses, not conifers. Sometimes L. clavatum has the vulgar name of "ground pine". A lot of people think it's the seedling of some sort of conifer, but it isn't.
I'm not lost. I know exactly where I am. I'm right here.
User avatar
kennykb
 
Posts: 241
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:19 pm
Location: Niskayuna, NY

Re: Plant Species?

New postby TobiasTicetonyk » Fri Apr 27, 2012 4:14 pm

The first picture isn't clubmoss, its the same plant as the others, just much shorter and out of focus. It's a variety of yew, I'm just not sure which.
User avatar
TobiasTicetonyk
 
Posts: 37
Joined: Mon Nov 28, 2011 9:55 pm
Location: Wittenberg (Home) / Missoula (School)


Return to Wildlife, Trees, Plants

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests